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Showing posts from 2012

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO 2012...

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Yep another Christmas has been (and gone)....Boxing day today and I'm off to visit my sister (and nieces and nephews)  in the countryside....I'll return just before work on New Years Eve.  Just in time to get ready for the new year which of course leads one to thinking what on earth happened to this one?

In one way I did  a lot....hell of a lot----went to Tasmania for last years Christmas present (hubby and I retraced the first days of our honeymoon over 30 years ago) - have to go back as I so want to do some walking....
We holidayed in Vanuatu which was stunning and surreal and wonderful - a lot of personal firsts for me on that trip---snorkelling, allowing huge mother of a spider to walk on my hand, to stand on the edge of an active volcano....





We even managed to get some stuff done around the house...wardrobes refitted, bookcases stained,  new lighting, blinds for the lounge and dining rooms, new car and lots and lots of trees cut down and garden beds put in...the back yard…

IT'S LOOKING A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS....

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Less than a week away and hoping to finish my Christmas shopping this morning. Wish me luck. And in this hectic paced, frantic, people loosing their cool, becoming irate and irritable time of the year....who is actually writing? Well beyond a TO DO list (with very little crossed off).

(most of my decorations are handmade by me or close others---my sister made this lead light candle holder---gorgeous)

Yes it's that time of the year and frankly writing gets put to the back of the things that must be done---there are bonbons to buy...presents to source....mince pies to evaluate...and I'm sorry but I rarely do cards. Apart from the seemingly never ending to do list, the only writing I'm apparently doing is on the name tags for the presents that are piling up under the stockings.


 (I've made stockings for all of us- even Tigger has her own...and yes even after all these years, the kids still expect their stockings filled)

But I am writing- well perhaps struggling to write w…

LETTING GO...

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It's that time of the year when I say goodbye to so many of the children I've sung/read to over the past year or even years. A lot of my Tinies move onto Creche or Day Care as Mum goes back to work, and a lot of my Storytimers move onto school. All very exciting and important steps in their lives, vital for the future...

It's all part of letting go. And this is a step I have no say in. It's a natural progression (and often they do return to the library to tell me all about school and how their reading is going - one came in yesterday to show me the certificate he got for the Premier's Reading Challenge).



But how hard is to let go of a piece of work?

Sometimes, and we all know we do this, we send something off far too early. Because the deadline looms and we had to send something, or perhaps because we just didn't care enough. And most times once it has been sent out of our control we know how rushed and unfinished it is. But most of us also hang on to something…

WHAT TO GIVE...

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It's that time of the year...Christmas merely a few weeks / days ....seems like seconds away...and for some reason we have a lot of birthdays towards the end and beginning of the year. So it's present time. Thinking, thinking...what to give?






And the answer of course is...books. Yep. The old fashioned, actual able to be held in your hand, kind of books.

Most years over half of my givees receive a book of some description.  Even those that have kindles - or read everything via Ipads and Iphones - I give books.  Mostly because a lot of these books are 'coffee table' books. The kind that have the most amazing photos...where you have to slowly flip through....pause, admire...not on a small or smallish screen but in a good A3 kind of size.

And yes, I still believe  in the actual touch and feel of a book (can't be beaten).



This time of year I'm in book shops like a kid in a candy store. Eyes wide, transfixed smile on my face as I wander around, thinking would this on…

WHAT DIDN'T WORK...AND WHY?

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Last weekend I had the Christmas break up of my writing group. It was relaxing, fun, inspirational, motivating...the list goes on.

Not only does this last meeting for the year give us a chance to share yummy Christmassy food, but to look back over the year and celebrate the highs ( and the lows)...and for myself to wear reindeer antlers as I passed out the Kris Kringles.




I find it amazing how the goals I created at the beginning of the year, always seem to morph into some strange creature that I barely recognise. Even though I have them in my writing area staring moresly at me. 
The group looks at our individual goals, see what was achieved, where we took a detour or meandered, or where life took a left at Albuquerque and our best writing intentions were abandoned on the side of the road. 

Then it's time for the hard questions. Well for me they are hard. Okay....so I achieved this, decided that it wasn't the time to work on this, decided I wasn't ready or skilled enough to at…

FOUNDATIONS.....

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Last weekend I went to several local open gardens (The Arbours-Kallista; Taylor Garden - Emerald; Kirkcaldy-Kallista) - gardening is one of my other vices. Love the chance to wander around to see what other people have done, what plants they grow, how they grow them and of course I take my camera and come away with ideas.

I want one of these .... doesn't every garden need some mosaic in it?
and then I want to build one of these arches----laburnum hanging down in yellow cascades...truly stunning.

I came away very inspired, took notes, drew a few rough sketches BUT then reality hit...you can't do any of this without working on the foundations.

We need to build paths, some sort of paved area, or even several paved areas, and we need a retaining wall of some description. All the boring hard scape before we can be truly creative and begin the 'fun' stuff.

It is so much like writing. It is one thing to have an idea...I want to write a poem about water. What about it?

What wi…

YARRA GLEN OR....

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Thursday night, straight after work, I headed off from Pakenham for a night of poetry. I headed cross country....past Cockatoo....Seville...Wandin....stopping a couple of times to check my very dated Melways when I seemed to be driving past more paddocks than anything else (I have the old fashioned kind of phone, it makes phone calls). And heh presto...and hour and a smidge later...there I was...Yarra Glenn.



You may wonder what awaited me at this small community. Firstly the most charming gallery....Acme et al....to the left of the pub in the main street. The store at the front has an eclectic mix of books and toys, jewellery and home made wares...then you walk into the gallery itself.

Allow time to pause and admire...the artwork is very good.

And towards the back, the small cafe which is where the poetry was to be held.

Hosted by the talented and dare I say quirky Sandy Jeffs...it was a very good night. A small open stage which offered to me poets and voices I had not heard before (a…

ALL THE FUN OF REDRAFTING....

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Each year my writing group has a writing retreat. A few days of good food,  good company, good walks, lots of talking about writing and the difficulties therein, lots of writing.  I usually am very good at the first four options and don't do a lot of writing. I do nut out some ideas, plan a few 'MUST DO' items and usually edit...but I don't write like most of my group do.

Last weekend we had a mini retreat- only five of us could go but it was definitely well timed. While one settled down to TAFE assignments, three wrote and wrote well. They gave themselves time frames in which to just write. Starting at 10- break at 1pm for lunch. Just write. Repeat in the afternoon...and so much was achieved. Very inspirational.

Once again I didn't write - I mean I did write. Being by the beach and going for so many walks (lets say for inspiration and not procrastination) - I managed to put down a poem and a short story. But my main objective that weekend was to edit and redraft..…

THOSE DARING YOUNG MEN...

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In their flying machines. Well actually it was one daring husband and one daring not so young any more Vicki. Last weekend, we donned leather jackets, gloves, hat and goggles (combination of his birthday present and my Christmas present -  doesn't everyone give flights to each other?)  I began to channel my inner Snoopy as we soared in the wild blue yonder....in our Tiger Moths.
That is me in the red plane, red modes of transport, as everyone knows are faster than other colours.  So we zoomed through the skies. Actually there were several times when I wondered how on earth we were up in the air at all. It really defies belief that we put ourselves into these machines and actually leave the ground. But heh it was fun. Great fun.


We left Point Cook and headed to the city, over Albert Park Lake and St Kilda beach just as the clouds gave way and some sun made an entrance. Melbourne really is a beautiful city.  Then we headed over water for the fun part- the acrobatics.

We had been fly…

GETTING INSIDE THEIR HEADS....

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Characters that is. Honestly who would have thought that after creating them it would be so much work to really understand them?

I'm reworking my YA novel (based on feedback received) and while a lot of the story works...more understanding of several of the characters was needed. Which of course made me think. Long and hard about the story as a whole.....does it work? Where is it headed? Is it believable? What does she want? What is stopping her from getting it? All the basics really...but then I had to think deeper....

And of course that is where tangents lie.

Because the more I thought about characters and setting and plot and storyline- I then thought of timelines and subplots - secondary characters, point of view, landscape as character, context, theme etc etc etc.

Thinking about your work is vital. But where do you draw the line and decide okay, that's enough time to get on with it (yet again). And often the thinking, the planning and to some people the research is all th…

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR...

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Perseverance.

One of the most important aspects of writing. If you want to send your work out, be published. Which is what I want to do. Am determined to do. But this year has definitely been a learning curve.

Twice, by two different publishers, I have been asked to send my entire novel(s) - one a children's novel, one a young adult. One I reworked according to the feedback and as suggested sent back- and after months and months of waiting- got the 'sorry but not right for us in the end'.

It is frustrating. It is depressing. It really makes me wonder why bother...in my bad moments. Which like most of us that write, out number the good moments. Sometimes you wonder if there will ever be another good moment....that the bad- the rejections, the silences, the 'getting nowhere' seem to be in abundance. And all thoughts of writing seem fanciful, and spun in daydreams.

But if you look at it in a positive light- (which some days is just so difficult) it means both of these…