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Showing posts from 2019

PLANNING AHEAD...

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In my day job I do a lot of planning. In fact the school holiday program that runs for two weeks in January was planned four months ago. And we are just about to plan for the Easter school holidays.

In so many ways, it is difficult to plan so far ahead. Once chosen, these programs are locked in. They are in booklets and flyers and are advertised. Not to be changed.

We have no idea if a new theme or program will work until it has been tried and tested. Just because it works in another library, doesn't mean it will work in ours. Different space, different people, different reactions.



And when we trial a new program, which we are next year, as well as new days and times for programs, it is a step into the unknown. Will they work? How long before we know? When can we tweak? When it comes to a lot of the programs, we have to give them a year. And of course during that year we are planning for the next year's programming.


It is a continuous circle of planning months, or even years,…

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS....

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Yep, that time of the year when folks everywhere are panicking and asking 'so what do you want?'
As a gardener there a million things I dream over. Oh and ah over. Drool and imagine over.

As a writer, it gets a bit more difficult. I have pens, in fact a LOT of pens. The really cute and quirky ones magically disappear and I'm left with those 'buy a packet of 20' ones that still work.

When used.

Notepads and notebooks are always nice to receive. I have a few writing friends who I envy because their novel ideas are neatly put into these A4 notepads. They have images and pictures, they have maps and terrains marked out. I dream of someday doing this.

But what to get me as a writer?

 How about a place to write...perhaps a cabin in the woods? Hmmm actually I live in a log cabin, in a forested area.




A place by the beach so I can wander the shores while dreaming of my characters?

This could be a contender folks! Watch this space...

Actually what I would so much prefer wou…

WINDING DOWN...

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This week is the week when I run the last of the children's programs. It means a lot of Christmas earrings and jingle bells, candy canes and letters to Santa. Lots of goodbyes from the kiddies moving onto Kindergarten and those heading to school.

And even though there are still a few weeks till the end of the year, it's this moment when (at work) we look back to see what worked, what didn't, and even though we are prepped till after the Easter holidays 2020, we are working out what could be tweaked and adjusted.


This time of the year is chaos. (Had to laugh at one Mum who told me I could now have a 'well deserved break' )

Some of you may find it organised chaos, but to me it's strictly I-HAVE-NO-IDEA-WHAT-I'M-DOING kind of chaos.

Today, in an effort to find my Christmas Spirit,  I did some wrapping of presents (while watching ELF) and have been singing Santa Clause is Coming to Town loudly (cat only giving mild glares)

And no matter how determined I am to …

DO YOU HAVE TO LIKE THE CHARACTERS?

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I recently read well listened (audio book) to a book that left me very unsettled. It wasn't the plot, because even though it was about things I really didn't know about, it wasn't too far from the familiar. It wasn't the narrator---even though it was a very Scottish voice. It was a Scottish author, and of course the book was set in Scotland, so that all made sense. I admit it did take me a little while to get my 'ear' in to the story with the subtle accent, but that was easily done.

No what really troubled me was the main character.

I didn't like her at all.


I tried and tried to like her. And just when she was about to do something I deemed kind or caring or even halfway decent, she'd stuff up. Again.

In fact I even googled reviews afterwards to see if anyone else felt the same way - very few did, most people LOVED the book. They raved over the 'so humanly and relatable character' and talked about the dark psychological truth.  Hmmm.

I found th…

A LITTLE BIT OF KNOWLEDGE GOES A LONG WAY....

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I recently attended a Trivia Night. This one is our annual fund raiser for our Bookworms Relay for Life team. It is a fun night, mostly attended by work mates, and their families and friends.

It's also a great way to totally understand your work colleagues and be amazed at what they 'know'.


There are so many surprises. Who knew that person had a great knowledge of Australian prime ministers?

Or who knew that person's passion was astronomy?

I must admit to knowing nothing about either of the previous subjects. In fact while the astronomy round was on, I was happily doing one of the table games. (Yes I knew who lived in St. Mary Mead....and who in Whitehaven Mansions )

It's always interesting when there is heated 'discussion' over an answer. Some are adamant, others hesitant...some shrug and willing to go with the flow.

Although had to laugh when Miss J and I attempted one of the table games----we knew 3 of the answers so guessed the rest. Surprisingly we go…

BIT OF PAMPER TIME...

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Sometimes you just need to spend some me time. Some time to pamper yourself, even though there is a list of a thousand (not an exaggeration) things to get done.

So yesterday, after work I spent some time being pampered.



I booked myself in for a sauna, back massage and facial.

It was pure bliss. Except for the painful bits in the massage (that's just the old back being problematic and we're working on that).


I had hoped to simply turn to mush.

However, of course, the old brain decides to go full tilt.

In the sauna I was planning for work----FOR NEXT YEAR!

I attempted to have a severe word with my brain but it wouldn't listen.




During the massage I was crossing off Christmas presents and thinking I had to tell hubby to......and that I had to remember to......and that we probably should.....


It was only when I got home, sat down that I went OOOOHHHHHHHH.

I didn't want to move.

I don't think I could have.

Finally, the brain had decided enough was enough.

Frankly I thin…

I'M BORED.....

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We went recently to see the show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (great show, not only for kids!). We took Little Miss (who I'm afraid will be Little Miss forever in my eyes ), daughter, other half and myself.

There were dumplings before hand, much walking from car park to said dumplings then to the theatre. We found our seats fifteen minutes before the show started when Little Miss said 'I'm bored, entertain me.'



She was told, politely, to suck it up. That the show would start soon and surely she could entertain herself for (by now, ten minutes).

She shook her head.

'I need internet or something,' glancing hopefully to my handbag. Not a chance.

Her aunt got her to look around the theatre to find out who the youngest person was (baby of about three months)....then she began to count seconds. Very very fast seconds.

It is an interesting phenomena that we don't allow people to be bored.



Boredom is necessary. Especially for children. It teaches them to be c…

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET.....

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Don't know about you but some aspects of writing are boring, dull and no fun at all.

Scrolling through looking for a place to send something.
Changing word count, font, style to make sure you are hitting all the publishing requirements.
Getting ready to hit send only to find that they are no long accepting unsolicited submissions.

Scroll to find another publishing opportunity.

Going through draft after draft, sometimes working on a manuscript for years, and then losing the whole love with the piece of work.




This is when it's necessary to take a step back.

Go off and do something. Potter in the garden. Mow the lawn. Weed a total garden bed.

Go for a walk. Swim at the local pool. Hit the gym (if you are that way inclined).


Perhaps take a joy flight.

Do something you enjoy. Put distance between you and the piece of work that is dragging you down.

When you come back, refreshed and hopefully energised....give that piece a very good looong look.

Is it worth it?

Is it time to move o…

YOUR LIFE STORY....

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I recently ran a writing memoir workshop and once again I was amazed at so many people who thought 'who would be interested in my life.'

Everyone has a story to tell. Every one. Yes, not all of them are going to be award winning best sellers, but even if you are leaving your story for your children or grand-children or great-grand-children, then it's worth it.



In this workshop were people who grew up in Collingwood in the forties...folks who had been born in India and came to the cultural difference of Australia in the sixties....people who had left the inner city at 18 to work on a cattle station in central Queensland.

There were reminisces of the ice man deliveries, of the local bookie and his 'cocky' or lookout (policeman's son), of being evicted and coming home from school to find all the furniture out in the street.

Some of these stories were powerful, full of pain and even anger after a lot of years.

But our pasts are what has created us. Our life story …

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S NEARLY OVER....

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Yep, it's that time of the year when Halloween merchandise is battling Christmas stuff and the end of the year is looming.

Frankly I'm sure it was Easter only a few weeks ago. But no, the truth is facing us.
Unavoidable.
We have 78 days left till the end of the year.


And of course I started 2019 with a clear head.

I knew what I wanted to do (kinda) and knew exactly   supposedly how I was getting there.

But I have no idea what I have done!

Realistically there have been 288 days in which I have done...something.

Often I don't know what.


That is over 6912 hours of something being achieved. Some days getting out of bed counts!
Going to work....being with family....actually writing something is a HUGE achievement.

So...basically I set off with goals and have meandered. Perhaps this should be me next year...


Perhaps not.

On the positive side I still have about 1872 (plus or minus a few) hours left to accomplish great things.

Starting....hmmmm...not today.

Well not this morning.…

SUPER POWERS....

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We all have them. Some of us flaunt them...think great musicians or actors...others live their lives and their super power is sometimes revealed when called upon.  There are those that can organise to the nth degree....some can Irish dance....some can juggle.

We all have our super powers.
Whether it's a huge love of animals...(even rats :(  )


Or a great love of helping...even if not wanted...


Or the ability to discover all the world has to offer...


Some writers I know have abilities they take for granted. Whether it's always meeting deadlines....staying super-focused and goal orientated....master of all aspects of grammar....ability to get the big picture down....able to capture a character or setting with ease.

We all have them as writers. Superpowers that we are aware of, sometimes we are told of others that bystanders can see in us. Unfortunately we also have our kryptonite.



These are our downfall. Enemies ready to take us down. Sometimes it's procrastination...or over…

ADDING TEXTURE...

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Last weekend (when I wasn't working) I went to 'From Text to Texture' a great workshop run by Writer's Victoria for the Casey Writers Project over at Bunjil Place. This was a great day, spent with like minded folks, most of us with the same trials and tribulations of wrangling a piece of work into some sort of sanity, the workshop led by Toni Jordan.

Toni was inspiring and enthusiastic.

We looked at character and how to use minimal dialogue tags. We talked about adverbs (the devil's own in Toni's opinion) and setting. We were given writing exercises - which for some is so easy....others find it very daunting to write cold, without research and data at your side.


I came away with some new insight, and eager to get back into the WIP.

One thing that really got me thinking was when Toni said 'why does your scene have to be set here?'

She made us think about our settings we have chosen. Are they vital to the story, move it on, do they add detail, depth or r…

REWORKING THE OLD....

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Last weekend I went along to see PMJ or Scot Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox. It is a group that rework pop songs into vintage genres, usually swing and jazz.

It was something new to me.


And frankly I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would (I"m not that keen on jazz). But WOW, this ensemble had some amazing voices.

The renditions of pop songs such as Radiohead's Creep, Jet's Are You Gonna be My Girl and Guns N Roses Sweet Child of Mine were awesome.

Of course this is not a new thing. Taking something, often classic, and rejigging it. Giving it an update or a new twist.

There have been so many novels (short stories and poems) using fairytales as bases. Whether it has been the traditional Cinderella or Red Riding Hood...mermaids and beasts....wicked witches and princesses locked up in towers, or Snow Queens on the hunt.


Some have worked a lot better than others. Some have been so close to the original you want to ask the question 'why bother?' Others have on…