Late

Well, last week went so fast I ran out of time!

But, things are going well. I have got back into working on Consequences 3 (editing, that is) and did get asked what category the plot would come into. Well, since Consequences 3 is almost a stand-alone book, I haven’t quite figured that side out. When I have finished, then I will take the time for it.

It’s funny how the weather plays a part in typing. We’re going through an icy snap here (for Perth, at least) and it does make typing a bit harder. Then again, I am in the room with the fire. Just have to talk to the boys about lighting the fire!

I was going to apply for a writer-in-residence for a local organisation that I have joined, but they want me to run a workshop and I’m stuck on that. I’d love to get it but that one little bit of information I don’t have. I could use balancing writing and a working life, but when it came to ‘how are you going to run it?’ I couldn’t think of an answer. So I’ve pulled out of that.

But I do have my editing course starting on Friday so I think that will help me with editing. My secret to editing is to turn every sentence around until I get the one that sounds the best. Whether that’s the appropriate method or not, I don’t know.

So, being a plantser, I have to write down the fresh ideas that are screaming at me, then sit and work out a plot, a synopsis and outline. Only then do I really know where I’m going. I have written a few outlines at work but I have quite a few to go – including one for Dark Reign. Then I might get back into finishing Dark Reign. So, I’m sorry for all those waiting on the sequel to Dark Dimensions but it may take a little longer to get Dark Reign out there. I have proven I can write 3 books in less than 2 years but that was at the cost of Dark Reign.

Investing in yourself

So I’ve decided to invest in myself. I have signed up for an editing course. It’s something I struggle with, I don’t know any other writer who doesn’t, but I decided to do something about it.

It’s an online course and although it’s through an American education company, it’s endorsed by the Australian Medical Association. I know, I know. Weird. But it seems quite comprehensive and I just have to remember when I’m doing the course to think like an American and then when I’m applying the learning to my own work, to think like an Australian. Easy to do?

I’m not really sure. I will find out sometime after I start the course. I could have taken the course that started on 17 June, but I thought that would be difficult to catch up with, so I’ve signed up for the next one – 15 July. That’ll give me time to prepare for it. I am looking forward to it because it should up my skills and hopefully expand my working life to something in the editing industry.

For now, I can ask all to wish me luck! I’m probably going to need it!

Road Trip

So I’m a little late this week but it was a good move. Because yesterday, after those annoying annual blood tests, we decided to get out of the city for the first time in 12 weeks. So, the weather wasn’t the greatest, but it was a great yet tiring day!

We had thought to have breakfast in the Swan Valley but couldn’t decide on which cafe to use so by this time we’d decided to visit Toodyay (and our friends) so Gidgegannup Bakery was chosen. Up we go to Gidgegannup, past Red Hill and other points to call in at the Bakery only to find they were busy and a group of cyclists had rocked up just before we did. Now, this is not against the cyclists, it was just a matter of timing as we’ve become provincial and don’t really like to visit crowded places and there were quite a few cyclists – and if they’re anything like me, after a ride like that I would have wanted to sit down for a few minutes at least to regain strength and rest the legs.

So on we headed to Toodyay. Which put our plans a little out of whack. After all, I’d been going to call our friends from Gidgegannup. Now I had to call them from Toodyay. Well and good.

We got to Toodyay about 9.45am and took the first quiet cafe we got to – the Coca-cola Museum. Fascinating place if you haven’t been there before, great food if you have. Still remember that day in 2017 when they agreed to open just for Swan River Rovers for our Christmas in July evening meal. Again, great food.

Our friends were pleasantly surprised – especially when I told them we’d be there after brekkie and they replied with ‘oh, 1pm, then’ and I said ‘no, we’re at the coke museum. See you when we’ve finished!’ What a crack up.

We ended up going to IGA, ’cause the Toodyay Bakery didn’t have big pies or cakes, and picked up lunch to take with us. Of course, Pat didn’t answer the phone so we couldn’t say we were bringing lunch. But it was well-received and we had a great time with her and her husband. And, we even commandeered another type of succulent to add to our front garden. Another pink one! Hope it’s a different shade.

From Toodyay, we headed towards Bindoon, ’cause we have this thing about new roads and the latest extension of one of our highways had finally been finished and ended close to Bindoon. What a magical, quick trip home. It was such an easy drive, it’ll make visiting our friend in Clarkson a lot easier – when we get the time, that is!

All in all, we had a great day and the cats looked at us when we got home as though we were strangers. After all, they knew it was Saturday which meant it was their day with us. Think again, kitties!

Warmer Weather

Wow, this is a strange winter, so far. Contrary to what they predicted, we’re a week into June and it’s been fine. Apparently supposed to rain either today or tomorrow but who knows.

The days have been beautiful and slowly warming. What? Warming? 26 degrees C in June? What is happening? Actually, pondering on it, I think it’s been a trend of the last few years.

I remember when I had my first winter in Perth. May days were beautiful and sunny but the mornings were like 2 and 3 degrees. I lived in Balcatta in those days and wow, was it cold! June was much like May but added some rain to it.

Now, coming from Melbourne, I was used to May, June and July being full of sleet and wind and rain. Perth didn’t get any really heavy rain until July and then it bucketed down. I was working for Land Tax in those days, in the old Vic Centre building and I used to watch daily as it used to rain horizontal rain down St Georges Terrace.

Ah, those were the days – I used to walk from Perth Central station, down through the arcades all the way to St Georges Terrace and then along St Georges Terrace to the Vic Centre. Because in those days, there wasn’t a Cat that would take me that close at that time.

Then when I moved to the Valuer General’s Office I still got off at Perth and experimented with the Red Cat up to the office, but still most days ended up walking because the Red Cat was stand up only. I had that enough in Melbourne on buses between the city and Sunshine. So I used to walk from Perth station, through the mall to Hay St, then along Hay St to Cloisters Square, then cross St Georges Terrace and up there to Spring St and into the office.

Those days are long gone. I used to walk almost from the corner of Wellington Rd and Morley Drive to the Morley bus station between Morley Markets and what is now the Galleria. I even walked sometimes home from Landgate to Stratton. I can’t do that any more. But each day is still a learning curve and that’s what I keep doing. Learning.

Easing

Well, it’s nice to see things are easing off. Thursday, we got to have more than 2 people in the lifts on our floor but the signs are still on the other floors. They’ll get around to moving them.

It’s been an interesting experience this part of the year – the trains have been quiet and people are keeping their distance. There are now more jobs available to do from home, which is interesting in itself.

And I’m finally at the end of my 4 days at work a week. Hopefully this time it will turn permanent to 3 days a week. Doc has said for the foreseeable future. That, to my words, is indefinite….

Anyway, that’s a small part of a big picture called life. We have up days and we have down days. It’s being able to manage both with the same ease where we excel. My thoughts go out to everyone who is struggling with something today. I hope you resolve it positively and that your life improves after it.

So here’s the funny part. Simon listens to 1080 6IX and at 6.50am they have “Shona Nova” on to give us the horoscopes for the day. We only listen to it for her vocal patterns. We had a friend in the car yesterday that had never heard Shona and she was in hysterics at the end of it. She’s on the digital version of their radio, so if you feel like streaming it, I do recommend it. I have never known her horoscopes to come true, but they are really very funny – just to listen to her vocal patterns.

Shona, if you’re reading this, don’t stop, you are great to listen to and bring a bright moment to our drive to work!

covid19

Okay, so I had a sore throat and blocked/sniffly nose (yeah, go figure – blocked in the morning, sniffly in the arvo). But, having that in this environment means a teleconference call with a doc. So, doc calls me back before the appointed time (some of these work well, but I don’t like it) and we discuss my symptoms. He says it doesn’t sound like I have covid19 but protocols now are that I have to be tested.

So, Stu comes home from work and we head down to the local covid19 clinic. Wow! That was an interesting test – doesn’t help if you have a broken nose. But test came back all clear. No covid19. Phew!

So you ask, what have I been doing with my non-covid19 but probably coronavirus flu? Watching a bit of tv and sleeping – often at the same time. Hmm, must go back and watch season one of Supergirl again. I think I missed some episodes.

But back to work on Monday. And to think – I actually had a cake to take in last Monday!

Weird Weather – again

So, we had 2 days last week where it was bitterly cold – and it rained before then. So, I go to work on Monday thinking I have to catch the train and bus, better take a coat. Get out of work and it’s warm. What the hell? It’s May! It should be around 14 degrees but it was in the 20s!

I remember my first winter in Perth. I lived in Balcatta at the time and it was a cold hole! I used to bus it everyday into town and walk about 10 mins from the bus to work. It was not unusual for it to be 2-3 degrees at 7am – which is just before daybreak. Understandable.

At the time, I thought ‘oh, it’s just like Melbourne – without the sleet!’

But now? Tuesday we had 27 degrees! 27! That’s too warm for this time of the year! Even our house says it’s supposed to be colder. We walked into the house on Wednesday night and you could tell the bricks had absorbed the cold. It was downright chilly inside. Outside? Warm, pleasant – inside? Where’s the wood for the fire???

But, enough of that. I have to tell you that it took 3000 words and 2 scenes to finally kill off the baddie in Consequences 3. And I think it was a wake-up call for our friendly hero but I think I also stayed true to his original character – after all, he did start on the wrong side of the law but redeemed himself through his actions.

It was a tough scene to write as I had to really focus on what I wanted him to go through in this scene and to make sure the lead-up was set up correctly. Then, of course, just to pick on him, I threw in wild weather and jittery horses. Poor man.

But he came through it – not unscathed but no one would.

And that’s all I’m going to say. Tough scenes like that can take a while to write, but the idea is to keep at them until you get through them. Ho hum. Of course, work came in the way, too. But I got there in the end. (Says she as she trots off to tidy it up and write the aftermath …)

Storms

Wow! We had rain. And lots of it! I enjoyed watching it rain, thinking of all the renewal it will do.

So after a busy week at work, I plan to pull out all stops today. I have a lot of catching up to do with my writing, mainly because I had a brainstorm on Sunday night in bed (why is it always the way – the one time you can’t get up to write because you have to sleep?). So I spend all this week at work making notes for today.

It’s called – get down and write! So I suppose there’s been a storm in more than one way – our weather and in my brain. Now it’s time to start a storm of writing!

Onward ho! (Isn’t that the comment?)

Late

Okay, I apologise for being late with this post. Having said that, a lot has happened over the last week.

Well, then again, maybe not.

Although I have written quite a bit which I’m pleased about and, although I don’t normally do this, I have to say that Joseph Michael’s training on Scrivener is quite good. I’ve learnt a few things more about Scrivener that I hadn’t found on my own. Which works for me. Still can’t afford his lessons but the free one I did had some gems in it for me. Now I just have to wait until 3 is out there (I’m on a PC not a Mac).

So, writing has been a bit of a challenge. Mainly ’cause I’m back at work for 4 days a week instead of 3. I really did like that 3 days a week. Doesn’t matter. Once the planes are back flying, everything will go back to normal. (We hope.)

On that note, it seems that Stu is doing a bit more work than he does normally. Mainly ’cause they’ve picked up Qantas quarantine busing. Which keeps him occupied but doesn’t help when he wants to put our new raised veggie bed together!

I found it great to be back at work – I think because I was forced to stay at home and that it wasn’t my decision to do so. And I have a possible lead into having a booth at Supanova when it’s next on in Perth (all the ooos and ahhhhhs).

Advice from others

So, I read an article last night – or yesterday – that says that writers who complain about parts of their craft should be taught not to. Well, I must say, I can be guilty of that.

My all-out love of writing is action scenes and dialogues. The fact that I don’t write in a chronological-type manner – from start to finish – means that there are scenes in between the action and dialogue that I must fill in. And as I participate in Nanowrimo, then sometimes I’m out for getting the wordcount done. Which means I concentrate on those scenes I love writing. Which leaves me to write what I call filler scenes later. Which is probably my fault because I haven’t written them during Nanowrimo.

My point of mentioning this is, although I might say ‘filler scenes are the worst’ or ‘I miss writing action or dialogue’, these scenes that I call ‘filler’ scenes are really linking scenes and without them, the book would not work. Knowing that, I also know they must be written and I am the one who will write them. So, please, don’t believe me (really) when I say I hate them. I just don’t like them as much as I do the other scenes.

Same with editing. I may say I hate editing, but I don’t really. I find that editing is what refines what comes out of my head and goes on the page and makes it easier for readers to read. That is what I am aiming for. An easy read. I just prefer writing new works.

So I’d like to finish by saying that I appreciate all aspects of my craft, from action scenes, to linking scenes to editing. Now, cover art? That’s one I’m not sure of …. just kidding.