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SIX MONTH CHECK UP...

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Yes, it's that time of the year when we all stop mid stride and wonder where the HELL THE YEAR HAS GONE. Surely it can't be July already. What happened to March? I do vaguely remember Easter but did May just slip by unnoticed? It has happened yet again, half a year gone when no one was paying attention.

To those that are deadly serious about meeting deadlines and reaching goals (or are forced to reconsider them at a writing retreat) this is the time of year when we look at our goals for the year and ponder on what has happened.




Interesting fact, my goals for this year went AWOL. They have to be somewhere, let's face it, I was a good girl and put some down. However, with the tidynessmess chaos that is my desk, they have disappeared amongst the pile of crap  stuff that waits my attention.

I did write some more whilst on retreat and looking back on them I'm amazed I've got so far through the year without really doing much.

But now is NOT the time to beat ourselves up…

ON THE RETREAT...

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Last weekend I went away with my writing group for a retreat. And after all the preparation I had done in readiness (see last post), I was more than eager to get there and get thinking.

Every time I go away with this group of writers, I am amazed at how little  much I achieve. Usually I do a lot of walking. After all, isn't that meant to help the creative cogs churn? Some may call it procrastination but I call it 'clearing the head'.

Most retreats I do a LOT of 'clearing the head.' But as I was so prepared this time, I actually got a lot done.


You may notice pad and pen at the ready. And if you zoom in it actually says 'we solve the world's problems, one sip at a time.'

Not that there was a lot of drinking done...

This was at a lovely restaurant where we went to help celebrate two milestone birthdays. The food divine...and afterwards a nice 'clearing the head' along the pier.


It wasn't all sunshine and clear skies....there was some grey ski…

IN PREPARATION...

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What to pack when heading off for a writing retreat.

1. SUSTENANCE.

There is nothing worse than being so involved in your work that hours pass and you pause to find your fingers curled into talons, your back needs to be crunched and your stomach growling for food because you have happened to have missed breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In truth, this has NEVER happened to me but...I believe for some people, it can, may, and does occur. So when going away, it is always great to have a selection of easy meals and snacks. Healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts, rice cakes and hummus.


2. THAT PIECE TO WORK ON.

I mean you have to take your major WIP (work in progress) with you...why else are you going away with a bunch of fellow writers? Surely, some say, you could work on said piece at home. Alone. Or with assorted children/ grandchildren/ pets/ siblings/ parents/ spouses surrounding you. (AS IF)

Writing, surely, is easy. Sit down and do it....this is often said by those that don't really…

NEVER GROWING UP....

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Last weekend and daughter and I headed off for another musical (our last in this year's series). We saw Aladdin. The scenery and costumes were amazing...totally stunning. Driving home with 'Friend like Me' going through my head, and staying with me for DAYS. But all worth while, we really enjoyed the show and it was a blast from the past.


At times like this I really think I should be concentrating more on my writing for children. For a variety of reasons. I read a lot of children's writing, I work a lot with children and adults finding the right book for a child....and I have yet to grow up.

I mean I do love to dress up...


whether I'm a slytherin...or...
a rabbit for Easter.

Face painted and fairy wings ready to roll at work...

Growing up, or lack of growing up, I feel helps a lot when working with kids. It keeps everything fresh and new and exciting. Hopefully it keeps you in contact with what kids want to do, to read or to enjoy.

Unfortunately most of us can'…

CELEBRATING TWENTY YEARS...

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That's right, celebrating twenty years of Harry Potter. Yes twenty years ago we first met a young boy called Harry living in the cupboard under the stairs. How time flies!

To celebrate, many libraries (and I'm sure book stores) held festivities. We had a Harry Potter night on Monday, complete with magician (who was amazing!) to keep the magic flowing.


It was a great night...a great family night.  We had folks making bookmarks...looking at amazing potions...

Using props for photo opportunities.

Many photo opportunities.... 

There were snitches in cages and wands...

I loved the creativity from my team mates... the library looked great!

Full of colour and mystery...

And everyone dressed up, for that day we lived Harry Potter. (some went above and beyond..they lived their characters). To me, that was the most important part of it all.
Don't get me wrong, loved the feedback. So many parents came up to tell us what a great job we had done, and how much fun the whole family had.…

FAMILY TALES....

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Last weekend I had a visit from my sister and her hubby.Then of course, we decided while she was in town to catch up with our two brothers. It was a busy weekend, full of shopping, garden nurseries, meals out and familial catching up.


(What a breakfast! Totally not the usual muesli or toast weekday events. And oh so pretty)

It was lovely to catch up with everyone. And to notice the differences as well as the similarities amongst us.

My family are a very artistic and eclectic group.


One brother does this sort of artwork...


as well as carving fence posts he has come across...as you do.


My sister paints and creates (and I have plans for these two and an Etsy store and me taking my ten percent as manager!)

Even my niece has this artistic gene running through her body.


Alas my creativity doesn't run along these lines and that's okay. So not only was I amazed at their abilities and overwhelmed by my lack of said abilities it was interesting to note how we all get along together. Ho…

IT'S IN THE DETAILS...

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I just finished a book, set in 1757 which dealt with English and French spies...a bit of conflict...bit of romance...bit of revenge. And honestly if it hadn't had the date printed on that first chapter I would not have known where or when it was set.

No one dressed in a particular way, no one appeared to eat (except for some broth when one character was ill)...they did drink ale and brandy though. And I craved some details. Not minute over-the-top details, but give me something to set the scene!


My lovely daughter and I recently had a great day out in Melbourne. We wandered a few markets then lunched at Hopetoun tea rooms...where even the queuing to get inside is part of the atmosphere.

Where every detail, from flowers on the table to the mouth watering array of cakes, is all set to tempt.


I mean who can resist?

We then wandered for cocktails at Madame Brussels .  Even though it was winter, the sun shone and it was lovely to sit out on the deck and have a drink.

Then it was time …