Aphid Days

The warm weather has returned to my part of the world and everything, including me, is unfurling and stretching with anticipation. Aphids are greedily swarming the new growth on my roses and I put aside my zen aspirations to squish and flick their green brown bodies every time I’m in the garden. It is too early in the season for many natural predators so I must be one, the gardener who places more importance on rose blooms reaching their full potential than aphids! (I have daily evidence that the aphid population is in no danger as a result of my interference and, thus, I can live with my actions 🙃)

Some of you may know that Treehearts got no further than the longlist for the Hungerford. Perhaps, when I heard, there was a frisson of disappointment that the fun of the process had come to an end, but, as explained previously, the joy of making the longlist has far, FAR, outweighed any other emotion. I’m looking forward to attending the awards night where 17 new Fremantle Press books will be launched, and the well-deserved winner announced. My calendar these days is crammed with literary events; book launches, author talks, writing workshops, time with my writing group and, of course, my own writing time. I pay for some of it, am paid for none of it, but – at the risk of getting really ‘out there’ on you – my soul is more nourished than it has ever been.

I am back at my desk this month, after a lovely September filled with family and friends and a little travel. In between, I have squeezed in some words, but I am well out of routine. Today is a list day. I plan to consider the six projects I have that are in various stages of ‘on the go’ and to make some decisions about how to move forward. Most are fully drafted, one needs some final chapters and a bit of revamping, another is half-finished. The most recent needs one more thread to pull it into the book I want it to be. I’m quite fond of a list! Recently, I’ve become a fan of handwriting important decisions; something about the movement of the pen, the pressing into the paper, helps me untangle things.

If you are writing or if your creativity takes another form, I hope all is going swimmingly in, at the very least, that part of your world. Do you handwrite lists or are you a spreadsheeter?! Did I just coin a new word?! My husband is most definitely one. He has created A POWERPOINT DECK about our plan to build a new house and organic garden in the south-west of our state! I exploded with joy when I saw it. We are so very different, but, somehow, most weeks haha, it works rather well!

Sending sunshine and bees and the promise of aphid-free roses to you all x

Novel writing

Welcome old friends and new!

For the past two years I have been working on several books – and avoiding setting up a website. I am here now, at last, with one novel complete enough that it is being considered by an agent and publisher, after two successful pitches through The Australian Society of Authors Virtual Literary Speed Dating event. Last week, I finished the first draft of a second novel and submitted it to a mentorship program, also administered by The Australian Society of Authors. Exciting times.

I have learnt a great deal since I decided that if I did not commit to writing, right at that moment, I might never do it. One such thing is that self-promotion, which in this case is little blurbs of chit-chat in a written form for your perusal, is a necessary part of the writing life these days. Those of you who have met me in real life will know that I am quite a fan of the conversational arts, so I shall simply view my blog as a visual extension of this. I can only imagine how some less chatty people whom we rightly consider the greats of literature would have thumbed their noses at the idea of a blog. But I am not such a great; I just have a few stories to tell and if you would like to follow along as I share the ups and downs, you can do so by subscribing 🙂 I suspect it may be quite the ride… *see earlier note re my love of conversation 😉 *I will not be cluttering up your inbox more than once a fortnight though 🙂

May it be a good day where you are.