Showing posts from December, 2011


It seems you blink and the year is nearly over. I really don't know where most of it has gone. There are weeks that have simply vanished, I don't remember them at all. Perhaps there is a vortex that snaps up days and weeks and takes them away? Or perhaps as my children suggest, I'm merely getting older?

Whatever the case, 2011 is nearly done and dusted.
Looking back over it, it was pretty damned good. At work we moved a library, yes moved...from temporary premises comprising of two portables to a brand new architecturally designed large and airy building. I'm hoping to never have to move a library again...simply put, books are heavy!

On a personal note, we painted and tiled the bathroom (almost finished), got the spare room (daughters old room) ready for it's next occupation, well almost, we survived the saga of the tree-through-the-water-tank-and-getting-new-one-up-the-drive, cut down trees only to plant more trees (fruit trees) and we went to Western Australia …


Suddenly without notice, it's that time of the year again.

Yep, Christmas. And if you are anything like me, you're beginning to be a tad frazzled.
There's the planning, the shopping, more planning, more shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning and trying to visit everyone (last year we saw my brother and his children in February...a combination of no time and them going away). I hope to do better this year!

There's also the decorating (which I do tend to enjoy- this is our front door )

And of course I'm making a list. Not of who is being naughty or nice ( I'll leave that to the guy in the red suit)- my list is more of comments I've overhead, ideas for stories and poems, even for a non-fiction article.

A lot of these are positive, comments from little ones about how many sleeps till Santa comes, the excitement when a child sees a lit up tree, well wishes from virtual strangers (wearing a Santa hat does help).

But unfortunately Christmas is not all sunshin…


I do have the best intentions (sure there is a proverb about this and the way to Hell) but I do. I get my copy of The Victorian Writer .I browse through the articles and then I begin to read the opportunities and competitions page.

I ponder, circle a few that I feel are relevant, put a star against ones that I know I have a suitable piece just waiting. If needed, I go to the necessary website, check out submission details or entry forms, find out more requirements.

In an ideal world this is then placed on my list. Yes I'm a list seems the only way to make any sense of what I hope to get done in a day/week/month. And I do love that feeling when something is crossed off my list. A sense of achievement, accomplishment. Knowledge that I have not wasted my day.

Yet this year in particular I have missed so many deadlines. Firstly - because my list cleverly avoided many of these deadlines. Freudian perhaps? Secondly - I became very good this year at heading off on tangents.

Oh …


Yep, writing a synopsis is right up there on my list of favourite things to do, right next to visiting the dentist and doing my tax.

So why do I find this so hard? (and I'm not alone in this). It's one thing to write a novel, to edit it, to redraft and rewrite, edit once more, rewrite yet again. And after about six versions of the novel a presentable product is produced...and now I have to summarise it.

Not only summarise it but make it exciting, make it sound like the editor/publisher has no choice but pick it up and publish it.

Everyone of course has advice to offer. But basically a synopsis has to cover all major characters and major plots. Add some emotional detail, not forgetting the all important hook.
Why is this novel astounding?
Why should it be published?
What is different about this novel?

This is the part I hate...

Finding the right words, and making each of those words count, is hard work. It takes time, it takes editing and drafting. It takes a belief in …