Monday, December 31, 2007
The ups have been huge, including becoming a published author and holding my very own book in my hand, going to the RWA conference and having people ask me to sign my book, having my own author signing and so on. Its hard to describe the impact this has had on me. Before, when I wasn't writing, I always felt I was missing something. That there was something out there that I was meant to be doing. Only I couldn't figure out what it was. I remember once asking my first husband if he ever felt that way, but he just shook his head and said he didn't understand what I meant.
When I started writing Running Scared I finally figured out what the missing piece was. Everything in my life slotted into place, the yearning feeling dissapeared, and I began a phase that has been the most challenging and the most fulfilling I've ever experienced. To hold Running Scared in my hand was the epitome of all this.
The downs of this year have dragged me lower than I thought possible. The worst was in the latter part of 2007 when I lost two dear friends and my Grandmother in the space of a few weeks. Tomorrow is my birthday and this morning I remarked to my husband that Grandma would call , just as she had every birthday since I could talk. The phone will be silent of course, but deep inside a part of me will be waiting, just in case.
So farewell to 2007. Farewell to being 35. I'm looking forward to the future.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So far today, that is.
I cooked it last night for various guests who'll be traipsing through the house over the next few days. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but now, given the day I'm having, I fear my too-tight-already jeans will be starting to give at the seams.
Its been a disaster from dawn onwards. The small screamies, neither of whom are morning-people, outdid themselves. I always find tantrums first thing hard to deal with. I like mornings, I love getting my cup of tea and wandering about checking how the garden is doing and murdering a few snails. Its a beautiful way to start the day. Two small people howling the house down because they want coco-pops, even though the packet is waiting on the table, just make me want to... well.... eat cake.
So after that start, we go to the doctor, to get Miss Beanies ears and throat checked after she was so sick the other week. Then its time for the big outing. Going to visit Santa.
I should've known better.
I dress them up. Do their hair. Keep foodstuffs to the unsticky, unstaining type. We're first in the queue. Santa arrives. Kids go all shiney-eyed with awe and wonder. We chat to Santa, presents are promised, and I love them just that little bit more.
Then Miss Beanie spots the camera on its tripod and totally loses the plot.
She screams, and screams and screams. All the way out of the shopping centre, all the way to the car, and most of the way home.
I really wish I could've screamed as well.
I had a nice trip all planned. Photo with Santa, then to a cafe (my kids love baby-cinos) for morning tea, then visit the fountain and the huge Chrissy tree.
But no. Now I'm doing my fifth load of washing for the day and eating cake.
I know this is all part of being a parent and that one day I'll look back and laugh, but right now I'm so dissapointed. Everyone else has Santa photos. Why can't mine, just for once, behave themselves?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Yesterday we had our final run-in.
Hubby and I did a car/child swap yesterday afternoon, and I took his car over to Chatswood where I was meeting Al for dinner.
"It's being a bit temperamental," he said, looking scared.
"I'll be fine. Stop fussing," I snap. Lordalmighty, I've been driving for 15 years without a speeding ticket or an accident I know what I'm doing! Ahem (talked my way out of afore-mentioned speeding ticket).
So I coaxed the blue-terror as far as Roseville. Its actuator is broken, so when accelerating from a stand-still, especially going up a hill it donkey-hops, even in automatic mode. I avoided hills and kept the car moving all the way until I got to the Pacific Highway. Long steep hill, heavy traffic, very slow traffic lights at the top.
Suddenly it wouldn't move forward at all, just rolled back and when I put my foot down I nearly got whiplash as it jerked forward, I wheel spun a few metres forward, but had to stop as the lights had changed again. I watched those lights, and the IDIOT behind me that was sitting 20cms off my bumper with more terror than I have ever felt in my life. The lights go green. I try a hill start, the wheels spin and the car jumps forward with an almighty bang from the engine then it died completely. Flashed up "Engine Failure" on its LED display. Well DER.
Panic. Put on hazards. Ring Hubby.
Phone battery dies.
Let the car cool. Manage to get it to start (after it told me the fog light wasn't working - okaay) and coax it to the carpark at Chatswood - donkey hopping 5kms in heavy traffic. Words cannot describe the stress.
Have restorative sticky-bun and, oddly, inspiration for next Mills and Boon novel from seeing cute red-head man with tiny baby. Meet Al for dinner, great time had by all. Al has been internet dating - more excellent novel material. Then it was time for the trip home.
Car starts fine, but won't go into first gear. Fog light working - well PHEW.
Phone hubby, eking out last of battery. Phone dies mid-conversation.
Keep trying gears (mostly out of fury) and eventually get into first. Put carpark ticket into barrier, had 41 seconds left on ticket otherwise I'd have been stuck there. BIGGER PHEW! Dash home, fingers crossed I don't have to stop, running amber lights, made it without too much problem until I got to Mount Colah.
So near and yet so far.
Was waved in for a random breath test.
Last car in the line and had to proceed up a small hill. So. Passed test no problem. All other cars have moved along and there I am, seven bored policemen on my left, and two on my right.
The car sees its last opportunity for humiliation.
We donkey hop for a full fifty metres, and glutton-for-punishment that I am I leave the window down. At first there is silence, then one policeman starts to laugh and by the time I made it to the road they were all rolling around. I have NEVER been so embarrassed in my life. NEVER.
I lurch onto the road, indicating in the wrong direction, which didn't matter, there wasn't a soul around - well if you don't count nine cackling policemen. I SO wanted to shout at them that it was the car's fault and I wasn't some blonde chick who couldn't drive a manual - but I suspect that would've got it impounded.
I made it home alive, but with no dignity. Hubby tried to sympathise, but I could only lie on the couch and shudder from time to time at the memory. Even chamomile tea didn't work.
The car is gone. Its too dangerous to drive. I'm not remotely sad.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Also made stained-glass biscuits. Cute bikkies that you cut a hole in the middle of, add bashed up boiled lollies (I had to get the lump hammer from the shed to smash the ones I bought, I dented the rolling-pin on the first attempt), the lollies melt and form a stained-glass middle to the biscuit. Looks rather good.
For once it all went smoothly. Nothing burned, nobody choked, no tantrums. I know. The house was filled with Christmas cheer and the smell of baking. Lovely. Not the usual story at all! It did take me over four hours to get them all made though, AND the little petals at the Playgroup party today prised out the stained-glass bit, ate that and left the biscuit, but other than that a huge success.
But am starting to get Christmas fatigue. Worrying if I've got the right presents, or enough, and the food. Its too early to buy food yet, but I'm still worrying. Will the vege shop have brussels sprouts this year? If so will there be enough? What if they smell like pond slime as they did the year before last? (Yes, I invest a lot of emotion into my sprouts).
And then there's the Chrissy cards. Have GOT to do them by Friday. All forty odd. Plus the overseas presents. We are not giving up and ordering hampers this year. Too expensive. Must send presents by Friday.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Have to say its been a looong week. Rain, one very poorly child, and another very bored child and being stuck in the house only allowed out for trips to the doctor has had me climbing the walls.
I've managed to keep myself busy though. First I harvested our mega-huge onion.
That smaller one is a normal sized onion, a bit smaller than my fist. Am still deciding what to do with it, probably onion soup.
Then I decided it was time to spring clean the house. The carpet in the play-room cops a lot of abuse, and lately its started to really smell. So I heaved it outside and used a broom to scrub it down with wool-mix. Great. Excellent. The pale bits on it went from grey back to cream.
Only problem is we've been on about 85% humidity, that's when its not pouring. I doubt we'll ever get it dry.
Its been there for three days and its still dripping.
But at least it doesn't smell of pee anymore.
I attacked the rest of the house with the same enthusiam, but a bit more sucess. We've had a run of illness since early November, so the house-keeping has fallen behind. Still, its been liveable. Or so I thought until this morning. I decided that today would be the day for giving the kitchen a good once over. Wipe down the pots and pans cupboard, throw out the rusting train-shaped cake tin, that sort of thing.
So you can imagine my horror when I lifted the knives and forks sorting tray out of its draw and saw that this was below it...
It smelled as well. Really, really bad.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Its also become clear that the plot (hero wants wife/baby to satisfy dying wishes of beloved Grandmother) is very much a Harlequin Presents (Mills and Boon Sexy) storyline. Haven't written a Sexy before, so have done a raid on K-Mart and stocked up on all the latest Mills & Boon titles to do a bit of research and see how others are writing Sexies. Hmm. Plan of attack was to focus mostly on the Sweet imprint, as they're what I tend to read, but the story just doesn't fit Sweet. Its a dilemma and having put so much effort in so far I don't want to abandon the book.
Its exciting as well. I feel like I've been sent off in a new and unexpected direction. Who'd've thunk!
Monday, December 03, 2007
So it turns up here, once a month, filled with delicious recipes that will make me fat, photographs of immaculate homes that make me feel inadequate, and advice on children that makes me laugh and laugh. Its an evil magazine and the Christmas issue is the worst of the lot. All those nifty craft projects that look easy, take hours and come out crap, all those immaculately wrapped presents, themed Christmas table decorations, and colour coordinated Christmas trees. Groan.
I still read it from cover to cover though, and the following tid-bit on wrapping amused me...
Disguise a bottle of wine as a large cracker, or a gift of a guitar or ukulele as an unrecognisable package. Bubble wrap and corrugated card will to the trick...Ukeuleles? Okaaaay...
Then there was this pearl of wisdom about growing veges...
Growing your own produce is more popular than ever...So, more popular than say one hundred years ago when you grew your own or starved?
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Yesterday we decorated our tree.
It was not without its disasters
And I did some baking...
Hubby bravely tried to eat one!
But we got there in the end.
Friday, November 30, 2007
- Wanted to do some shopping, but it was tipping down and its a long walk to the shopping centre,
- Wanted to go for a swim, yes I know you can swim in the rain, but the trip to-from the pool is also a long walk, there was also the random lightning factor to be considered,
- Traffic a nightmare - its odd, Friday traffic. Nothing in the morning, roads are empty, but then gridlock in the afternoon. Where do all the cars come from??
- Decided to get a Chinese for tea, restaurant tardy in opening and we had to hang about outside for ten minutes watching the peak hour traffic. Actually its just up the road from the local brothel (and the Police station), so I amused myself wondering why two of the pink curtained rooms above the shops had lights on, and two lights off. Where they in use? What was going on in there...
- Finally order dinner and spend a happy five minutes inspecting the doomed lopsters in their tanks. Lopsters is what Miss Beanie calls Lobsters,
- Heavens opened. It poured. Just as dinner was ready. Me and children soaked in the 50m dash to the car. Tossed up between laughing and crying. Decided to laugh,
- Get everyone belted into car. Cunningly use open boot door as shelter (yes I drive a big 4WD with a huge boot door that opens upwards) and didn't get too wet. Then, just as rain eased decided to dash for drivers seat. Closed boot in the process emptying the ten or so litres of water that'd gathered there down my front. Laughed again, though it had a cackling manic quality that made the children fall silent and stare at me.
- Credit card bill lurking in post box.
- No chocolate in house.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
37,000 words in 20 days! Given my day jobs of the small screamies, plus work, not bad at all!
We've had a blissful day. Up to Umina beach this morn.
Then home to much gardening. We are heaving with vegies and snails. Have put out beer traps but the dog keeps drinking them, my tomatoes had better be okay. Grrr.
Spent kiddies nap time re-arranging iPod, have uploaded all Christmas carols in anticipation of 1st December. Oh yes. You can be looking forward to endless photos of our christmas tree and various chrissy crafts, just like last year. Hurray, I hear you cheer.
Had an inspiration as well over iPod - lots of people write in their blog the latest fave song on their iPod. I try to avoid that sort of thing, preferring to concentrate on blathering my every thought. BUT how about this... What's fermenting in my kitchen... Good huh? And i'd have something to put almost every single day.
And now we're spending the evening watching Stargate. The episode where they nuke the replicators and Daniel Jackson dies (again) this time after mind-melding with the head replicator girly - if you don't watch the show get yourself the DVDs. Brilliantly written and McGyver in every episode. Doesn't get much better than that!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
On a brighter note I'm blogging about Man Boobs over on the Samhain Publishing blog. Go. Read. Leave a comment. Make me feel loved.
Monday, November 19, 2007
So instead of plugging away at the novel I've been slothing around on the internet, doing research and looking at pictures of cute Red Pandas. I've got around three chapters to go, several nasty inconsistencies in the plot and a hero who vacillates between Zapp Brannigan (right) and Troy Maclure. (left)
But its saveable. There's definitely the kernel of a good story in there, but its going to some time to unearth it from all the blather. At least the heroine has turned out to be feasible - I was quite surprised, didn't think a zookeeper heroine was going to turn out plausible, but she has. Who'd've thunk.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Mmmmm... I love OUR bank. Am now investigating moving all our accounts.
We are also trying to move phone and internet to a new service provider. Our current provider has retaliated to this news by slowing our connection down to a snails pace. And telstra is making it nice and easy by insisting that they simply cannot talk to Hubby on the phone, no it must be ME. Awww. Sweet. Pity I have no idea what I'm talking about.
Am presently having a fantasy about living in the place below. Just up the train line from us. No power, no running water, and a short swim to the train station, sounds perfect to me...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Oh, and its got a new name... The Millionaire's Fake Fiancée. Yes its turned into a 'married for the wrong reasons' story. Didn't set out to write it that way, but that's how its turned out.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
So spent the rest of the day in the garden.
In a moment of insanity I decided it would be an excellent idea to spread a large amount of cow poo about the place. No doubt it will make my lovely flowers even more lovely, but it had two unforseen side-effects. First that it stank. Second that it attracted every fly for miles and miles. To make matters worse I cooked pan fried whole trout with bacon and garlic for dinner, and unbenownst to me Miss Beanie has learned how to open the back door, and did so, leaving it open.
Every single fly that had been crawling all over the decomposing cow manure took up residence in the kitchen. Lovely.
Pink hydreanga, who said pink and green dont go?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
But I've just cracked the 20,000 word mark. Woo hoo! And hopefully in the next few days I'll get over the 25,000 half way mark. Not at all bad for ten days work. Though have to say I'm getting really tired, it drains you, all this creativity. Am also not sleeping, too busy thinking up plot twists. Note to self: DO NOT BLOW ANYONE UP. Its a romance.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
But oh the guilt. Oh the agony, the self-hate, the loathing... have even tried bribing self with violet crumble (ate it), and spent the afternoon shovelling in party food (Melbourne cup do - lost, lost badly, I shall miss those $4. Actually one of the girls got the trifecta in the Mother's Group sweep. The TRIFECTA. I mean c'mon. Is that fair?) and am now telling self that I can have a take-away if I write 1,000 words. Of course I'll have the take-away anyway as I simply cannot be arsed cooking anything and the thought of an omlette makes me want to die from boredom. DIE I tell you.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I had a choice of prawns from Vietnam, prawns from China or (most expensive) prawns from Australia. I inwardly groaned, mentally totting up food miles and the horrible rumors about the conditions Asian seafood is raised in. Yes, had an ethical dilemma about my fish soup. I was glad they were busy, because I vacillated for quite a while. I had no choice with the scallops, from China or nothing. I had a vision of Chinese ladies, de-shelling scallops at lightening speed in some terrible factory. If I bought the scallops would I be unintentionally supporting their subjugation?
Its been bothering me for a while actually. I try really hard to buy local, consume ethically, grow my own, save water, help the environment, but it can be so massively challenging. Do I buy organic produce from the Macro supermarket in Hornsby? But its mostly sourced from overseas. What about the food miles and the carbon produced transporting it to me?
I just wanted to buy scallops and prawns dammit. But consuming has become a huge ethical deal and is giving me a headache. I've got too much to worry about already. But is that terribly pathetic of me. Am I making the world a worse place by thinking about acting unthinkingly?
I went for the Chinese prawns and scallops by the way. They looked the nicest and tasted great. But as I served it out to my children I did wonder if the food was safe. Actually they didn't touch it, they ate a great deal of lunch and weren't hungry, but that's not the point. I still worried.
Okay, now I've finished moaning about that, nano is going well, am up to 8288 in total.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Alas I'm in the midst of my usual start of novel flush - ideas are coming easily, there's lots to write about, the skys the limit. Just give it another couple of days and I'll be tired, flat and crabby - okay MORE tired, flat and crabby.
I've also got a guest-blog to write for the Samhain Publishing blog on the 5th, plus author chats on e-loops on the 4th and 8th. Yes, taking it easy as usual. Hubby is tearing his hair out and its only day two.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here's the washing...
And here's the kitchen...
Yes, a disgrace. I am a disgraceful housekeeper. You haven't seen the table either, knee deep in paperwork. Spent yesterday discovering the full catastrophe which is our finances! Suffice to say that I have cancelled Christmas, Miss Bugalugs birthday, My birthday and Summer holidays. We shall stay at home, learn to enjoy each other's company and weave baskets to sell at markets.
The Vege garden has also been taking up a lot of my time. We're starting to use our own onions, broccoli, peas, broad beans and lettuce. The potatoes however have been a total non-event. That's a photo of the potato bed (above). They've dissapeared, just rotted away or something. Very dissapointing. The kids have also been helping heaps in the garden, they, with the dog are excellent at ripping up plants and digging holes. Bless them all!
How sexy is that onion. Well I think its sexy! Its about the same size as my fist. Cool huh!
What amazes me about our vegies is how good they taste. The onions are so oniony, and the garlic, WOW, I didn't know garlic was so luscious when freshly dug up.
Friday, October 26, 2007
What an awesome woman!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Too tired to think, but have to finished editing High Speed. Sigh.
Just cooked dinner, the broccoli and the broad beans we ate were from the garden, am feeling most pleased. Even thought Miss Bugalugs was going to eat them, until she spat them out and started rubbing them into the table. Hmm.
And if you're here to enter my Aussie lolly competition just email me at email@example.com and tell me that Secret Intentions used to be called Best Intention.
There are some pictures of the lollies in the lolly pack in the post below - Blogger hates me, so they're a bit all over the place! Suffice to say Violet crumble will be involved... mmmm, violet crumble!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Samhain Aussie authors include...
Kelly Ethan, and
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Hubby is accusing me of having a hangover, but I don't, I promise. Only had one margarita last night and though I don't drink much it would take more than a shot of tequila to knock me over like this. Its got more to do with a late night and maybe going out, in public, with no children, and having to make adult conversation for an evening. Exhausting!
We were off celebrating Hubby's permanent residency being approved. Yes, he's been on a business visa for about the last nine years, but now, finally we've got the green light. Its good, although threatening to dob him in to immigration every time he's annoying is now a threat of the past. He's keen to go the next step and become an Aussie citizen, but I've told him he has to attend the swearing in ceremony in a Wallabies Rugby top otherwise they'll take away his certificate. He's not sure about that at all.
Friday, October 19, 2007
My main worry is that Best Intention doesn't sound romantic enough, I like it, but wonder if I could come up with something better.
So far I've got
- Best Intention / Road to Hell
- Despite her Best Intentions
- The Very Best of Intentions
- The Very Best Intention
- The Best Intention
- The Road to Hell
- Best Intentions pave the Road to Hell
- Paving the Road to Hell (okay, so Hell is not romantic)
- Secret Intentions
- A Secret Intention
Oh, have a headache now. Anyone with suggestions? Help!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
There wasn't any respite on Wednesday, went down like a stone with tonsillitus.
And today, Thursday, Dentist. Great big enormous needle that I think went all the way into my spine, loads of drilling accompanied by very bad jokes (my dentist thinks he's a humourist) followed by a worrying tale of how he (the dentist) nail-gunned his hand to two pieces of wood. Oh the things you have to endure when you can't talk.
Hubby is living it up with other IT nerds at the Opera house this evening, so I'm a single parent as well AND we've run out of ice-cream (too soothe my aching jaw).
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Hubby and I going out for brekkie tomorrow to celebrate, and to inspect washing machines - yes the high stakes, high glamour lifestyle continues.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
So far its not going well at all. Leapt out of bed early ready to have it all done by lunch, but then got distracted by Husband, children, dog, watering the garden, cup of tea, breakfast, another cup of tea, surfing the internet, putting lunch on (pea and ham soup), more tea, and now the blog.
Okay, I'm going, I'm going.
And sorry about the website being offline for the last day or so. Our ISP cut us off because they didn't have our creddy card details. Yup. Not because we weren't paid up, but because they didn't have a record of our card. SIGH. Luckily I'm married to an IT nerd and he spent the morning sorting it all out for me. Phew!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Its been a long few days. I arrived at work this morning with no outfit, and speech barely written. Yes, was speaking. Fortunatly everyone at work is fabulous and understanding, and I'm not hugely busy. So was able to polish up speech and then whip across to the shopping centre and purchase suitable clothes.
Spoke to Mum earlier and she was sure what I'd worn to work would be fine. Er, black clogs, grey jeans and grey t-shirt (okay not grey but 'silver'). My workplace is really casual. "God," mutters Mum, "We really need to buy you some new clothes."
So, suitably attired, arrived at the Crematorium in good time, to be greeted by many old friends and the family. If it wasn't so sad it would've been such fun. I can't believe Grandma touched so many people. It was really hot, temperature in the thirties, and the chapel was cool, but not with fifty odd people in it. I did my speech, I was so nervous and trying not to cry so I ended up sounding like Mickey Mouse. I know I did. Far too many people came up to me after and told me I did well and speeches are hard when you're emotional. Hmm.
No but it was good. The whole family did really well. My cousin Hugh did a reading from Corinthians with almost no practice and we had some lovely poems. We had an Irish blessing at the end it was lovely too.
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand
The kids came along to the Wake, dressed in beautiful dresses they looked like little flowers. They kept everyone on their toes, zipping about underfoot and eating their own bodyweight in sausage rolls. Yes, was so proud.
Am very tired now. Nursing blisters, glad it went well, sad, so so sad, but feel like I can start to get on with life.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Hubby sort of did a strangled moan thing when I told him. We barely survived my 50,000 words in 5 weeks and this is going to be done in 4. The house, tip that it is, shall be reduced to new depths of clutter, bills will go unpaid and the people at the Thai restaurant up the road will be able to fill our order just be recognising hubby's voice - as already happens at the Pizza restaurant. I caused chaos the other day by changing from Supreme to... er... ham and pineapple - look I was in a MOOD and I wanted PINEAPPLE, okay!
Am off to the Zoo tomorrow with my entourage (kids, hubby and in-laws). Its Barbie Treasure Island day, oh gawd. Give me strength!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Right now we're busy with the 'arrangements'. At the moment my Mum is the only member of the next-generation in the country. One Uncle and Aunt are currently aboard Yaks, trying to get back to Australia from Tibet, and the other Aunt and Uncle are making their way home from Singapore. Thus its fallen to Mum to sort out all the minutae - which is a good thing. I think its the best to be busy - life does go on, and yes you are grieving but the dishwasher has to be emptied, and the dog has to be fed...
Thursday, October 04, 2007
My Grandma died this morning at 4.30am. She'd been very ill and had dementia very badly, and its been an agonising year ushering her towards the end with as much dignity as we could. It is one of those situations where it is a relief, but at the same time so indescribably sad. She's been such a presence in my life that I can't really comprehend that she's gone.
Am at work, Mum rang with the news about an hour ago and hubby is at home with the kids who are sick. People are suprised I'm not rushing home, but right now the peace of my desk is what I need, rather than their clamouring neediness. I'll head off in an hour or so, when its all sunk in and I'm capable of concentrating on the traffic.
This is not what I was expecting today.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I lost my mobile phone. Oh about a month ago. Searched high and low and came to the conclusion that one of the kids had lost it. Couldn't have been stolen as it always travels with my wallet and I still had that, and the kids play with the phone all the time. 'Tis a marvellous distraction when bored at the Doctors or similar.
So, had glumly declared it gone, and have been lugging around Hubby's old brick. Which I hate. Only this morning I was missing my phone.
Anyhoo, due to a chain of events involving road closures, bushfires and sick children my father-in-law ended up travelling in the back of Hubby's car. "I stood on something," he declared and then produced the phone from under a seat.
Hubby promised me he'd searched the car for it. Promised.
Should've know he'd do a man look.
Monday, October 01, 2007
This is an enticing story, set in different international and exotic locales, with a passionate and sexy couple. At times, there are so many things happening that the story doesn't feel large enough to accommodate it all.
Summary: Gemologist Julie Marchant and Mitch Cartwright meet at a Red Cross charity ball in Sydney. There's an instant attraction, and Julie thinks this might actually lead to something lasting. But her hopes are dashed when, after they spend the night together, she wakes up alone and never hears from Mitch. Several weeks later, Julie is on a trip to buy sapphires in Laos and is shocked to run into Mitch, who turns out to be an archeologist working on a job there. The two quickly pick up where they left off but have to deal with multiple problems, including murder and civil unrest. They each learn a lot about themselves and, in turn, discover what is most important to them.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Yesterday, after an hour of having unspeakable things done to my teeth (and was greeted with the even happier news that I need more unspeakable things done in three weeks AND will be up for a crown if I keep clenching - well of course I clench - I have small children). Anyway, I digress.
So I have unspeakable things done to my teeth, arrive home expecting spotless windows but the smears, mildew and fingerprints are all still firmly adhered to the glass.
Apparently the Window Cleaner Man had a disaster. It'd better have been an 'I got entangled in powerlines' type disaster. Hmm.
Now, upon his promise that he'd arrive today between 1 and 2pm, I am peering out the window like a demented meercat and counting the minutes. Got the kids down for an early nap, have swept driveway (so they don't walk dirt into the house - like its going to make a difference!), eaten lunch, done the washing up.
Where is he.
I want my windows clean.
Okay, so Mr Window Cleaner turned up. In a daggy old car, 45 minutes late. Knocks on the door which I grumpily stomp to answer, whining child attached to hip and dog in hot pursuit.
"Allo, I yam Pierre," he husks.
"ELLA," I screech at the dog as she makes a bolt for freedom, stop her with my foot, dump child, grab dog.
"You h'are verry busy, I sink?' he says with a perfect smile, perfect teeth, perfect French accent, perfectly tanned with perfect sandy coloured hair...
"Wibble," I say. Then, to my eternal mortification I blush scarlet. Yes, she who writes salacious lurve scenes, has two children and if she hasn't don't it all then she's certainly seen it all, is utterly thrown by an unexpectedly hunky window-cleaning guy. Note he is now a guy (say mid-20s).
I've had a lovely afternoon. Pierre kept the kids occupied (they followed him around supervising window-cleaning) and I happily made cups of tea and drinks of water for him and tried to think up more scintillating conversation than Wibble. Mmmmm.
I can feel a M&B developing out of all this!
See that bruise? Yesterday she climbed up on one of our outdoor chairs (heavy, wood) toppled off and then the chair fell on her. Huge bruise on her forehead and a matching egg on the back of her head. Have been watching closely for signs of concussion, equally reactive pupils, tiredness - not easy when a) she's got a cold, and b) she's got one hell of a headache. I think she's okay. She seems to be okay. Oh, maybe I should be whisking her off to Emergency for a brain scan...
Monday, September 24, 2007
I've just finished chapter 14, and am 60,000 words in. Phew! On the downward slope towards the end and its all about to go completely pear shaped for poor Alex my heroine. Yes, she was previously called Chris, but hubby was doing some proof reading and couldn't figure out who was the hero and who was the heroine (it was a lurve scene and he got worried he was reading about manlove), so I've changed her name.
Am not envisaging further hiccups, although if you'd asked me last week I would've started beating my head on the desk. Had one of those uh-oh moments when I realised my heroine had no personality and the plot didn't make sense. But I'd just sort of wandered off course with the storyline and was blathering on. Did quite a bit of deleting, which hurt a lot and required krispy kremes to soothe the pain, but the scenes I had to add were a breeze and its all coming together nicely.
Four weeks to go and 20,000 words. Yeah. I can do that!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
'Tis Scurvey Gums Val.
After I've consumed my noggin of rum and shivered me timbers, I'll haul my bunt well up on the yard, smooth the skin and bring it down well abaft. And then, if hubby gets home late from work I'll stove in his old block house like a rum puncheon.
Okay I have a headache now.
Though my Mafia name is Tito the Assassin.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I've just rung Tim, he's been my dentist since I was about 11. He doesn't mind if I cry and bribes me to open my mouth with lollies (sugar free ones -ug). He is used to fielding my carefully thought up 'perhaps I can delay this a bit longer' questions - the last one was does Diet Coke rot your teeth (answer is yes, because its not the sugar that's really bad in Coke but the acidity and Diet Coke is as acid).
At least Nonna has volunteered to babysit.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Why oh why are they so
- Thumb sucky?
I'd like a quiet clean one that likes to sit in corners and read books.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
This morning we had a family outing to the garden centre. My children out did themselves, though I have to say hubby was partly to blame. He gave Miss Beanie his coffee to hold, and she promptly drained the lot. Yes, we then had an hour of her going off her head around the garden centre, wired on caffeine. We lost her twice and just managed to stop her escaping into the carpark. I did not enjoy it.
Nevertheless, through bloody minded determination fulled by a scorching case of PMT I managed to come home with a nice selection of plants. Whilst the little darlings had a nap, hubby and I set to in the garden and planted them all. I have to plant things as soon as I get home, otherwise we have a heatwave and they all die in their little pots.
So, had just finished planting, and had just put on the kettle when hubby appears in the kitchen. We discuss life (well renovating the useless bloody laundry actually), until Hubby unexpectedly rushes from the kitchen f***ing and bl***ing all the way. He'd been backwashing the pool and if you leave it unsupervised it overflows. Of course now all my brand new flowers have been soaked in water that is about 50% chlorine, plus a very nasty algicide.
$125 worth of plants and a days effort. Just to watch them all die.
Have resolved to return to usual gardening techniques of only growing weeds.
Naturally the bit hubby was planting was unaffected.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Its kept me rather busy which is why the blog entries have been a bit thin on the ground. I just didn't think you'd want to hear about how I levered the middle bit out of the sinkhole and then scrubbed away thick black gunge with Hubby's toothbrush. Or maybe you did?
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Miss Bugalugs made sure it was all properly stamped down.
And why is blue metal called blue metal. Its only chunky gravel? Hmm.
I arrived late to Playgroup (oh who am I kidding, I'm always late to playgroup), then scuttled in the door, doing an excellent job of making no eye contact whatsoever. I will not grin, I will not blush, I will not grin, I will not blush, I muttered to myself. I made it as far as the kitchen, and then on being addressed directly made eye contact, grinned and blushed.
We liked it, a lot of nipples and not long enough but we liked it.
Phew. And nobody was throwing it at me and howling that they wanted their money back. Even bigger Phew! Then I found out that Lyn had made her famous slice - dunno what's in it except for sweetened condensed milk, but frankly that's enough for me. Can anyone go past sweetened condensed milk? The rest of the morning unfolded itself most pleasantly (well except for the fact it was freezing cold and we were stuck in a bare echoy room with seventeen feral screaming children all of whom had been given musical instruments, my own cherubs included - but that's another blog post).
As far as critical feedback I thought what MG had to say wasn't bad at all. Am also pleased to point out that forthcoming books are both longer and have hardly any nipples whatsoever. Hurray!
But seriously, we had a big crowd, I had a great day, and the next book is out in paperback in 2009, so no more booksigning events until then.
Love you all!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
So impossibly exciting day tomorrow lugging sand and blue metal into hole. Hurray!
Yes, that's me at my booksigning. I told you I don't photograph well! But at least you can't see my bright red nose and drippy eyes. Bloody cold. I hate being sick. Why am I always sick, I blame my children.
Still, regardless of the fact I was tanked up on cold&flu drugs (which I had to produce both my staff card and my drivers license to purchase - I mean c'mon), the whole thing went exceedingly well.
I signed books, and we sold them all bar one, and I even managed to spell my name right in all of them. Sometimes this is a challenge for me, esp when feeling a bit fuzzy. People showed up who weren't related to me (and therefore had to turn up or suffer the consequences), and I got to flitter about and threaten strangers with drinks, chocolates and bookmarks.
The wonderful Jess Dee popped in (she's another Samhain author), and another local author who writes children's books stopped by to wish me luck as well - I think she said her name was Elizabeth Best, am going to keep an eye out for her stuff. There was some talk of me doing a speech. "No worries," I said confidently, reaching for another glass of champagne. Thank god that little idea never got off the ground.
It was a good day. I feel like a real live author now. Its just annoying that it'll be so long before the next book comes out. Am still reconciling self to snail like pace of publishing industry.
Small people who were universally unimpressed with romance books appreciated the large number of chocolates on offer!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
It can't go on. Something must be done. So on the way home this afternoon I instigated stopping the car.
It took over an hour to get home.
Tantrums were had over...
- No chocolate biscuits available
- Mummy singing
- Bugalugs taking off her shoe
- Bugalugs taking off her other shoe
- What ever it was that was eaten for lunch today - never actually got to the bottom of this one, suffice to say it was yucky and had us stopping outside a church whose billboard said Life is Short, Eternity isn't - at that moment Life seemed rather long actually, and eternity kind of peaceful.
- Mummy asking if anyone had a nice day (nobody cared a bit that Mummy had a long and tiring day and would quite like to listen to the radio and hum along a bit).
Each and every time the tantrums started I stopped the car - after growling I'll stop the car several times (okay at least fifteen), just like my Mother used to.
I have been considering stopping the car and getting out so I don't have to be deafened by the furious shrieks, but don't think that's fair on Bugalugs, who just sits, sucking her thumb and taking it all in for use in future performances.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The significance of the 'clipse pretty much passed Beanie-baby by. Hubby had explained to her very seriously exactly what was happening, but when asked where the sun was (in order to cast the shadow on the moon) she just shrugged and said "I dunno!" I've suggested we leave astronomy lessons until she's mastered, well, counting above ten, but Hubby is not convinced.
All Miss Beanie-baby was interested in was that she got to sit on the bonnet of the car and chat with Daddy for an hour.
She's had a busy day, Miss Beanie. Playgroup this morning meant two hours filled with trips to the loo and birthday cake - two of her most favourite things at the moment. Then Nonna and Grandpa popped in to inspect The Hole in the patio. When The Hole looked like it might be garnering more attention that her, she easily upstaged it by attempting to push in Miss Bugalugs.
Grandpa has saved the day and will be arriving on Saturday (post my book signing) with sand and tools to fill in The Hole. This is excellent news. For a nasty moment it looked like Hubby may have attempted the job, and frankly we can't afford hospital bills at the moment. Instead Hubby will hover about on the perimeter, looking useful but not actually doing anything (a forte of his). This way all digits will remain attached, and nearby items (such as clothes on the washing line, or bits of fence) will not be press-ganged as hole fillers.
Monday, August 27, 2007
In a rush of horticulturalism I've joined the diggers club, and ordered lovely organic and heirloom seeds. Am determined that this year they won't be food for snails. Am declaring war on snails.
Have also fertilized the garden. With pelletized chook poo. My god the smell. The dog is in heaven.
The Hole is under the lattice - which is my carefully crafted child-proofing measure. As you can see Miss Bugalugs has been testing it for me.
Its slowly been getting deeper and deeper, so in a moment of madness yesterday we dug it up. My suburb was connected to the sewer about thirteen years ago (according to Louise next door - and beleive me there ain't much Louise doesn't know about our street - she also told me they found a buried car when they dug the hole for our pool - a car!). When the septic was made redundant it was up to the home owner to fill it in and cover over. Only the previous owners did a less than perfect job and now we have The Hole, filled with rubble and water, slowly eating the patio.
Miss Bugalugs is perfectly safe by the way!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
|You Are Miss Piggy|
A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!
Do I really want to make contact with all these people who knew me when I was young and reckless? Hmm.
Have also made mortifying discovery that I can't remember any of my ex-boyfriends surnames. Bizzare no? First names no problem, I can even list them in chronological order, and to be honest its not like we're talking that many here. Cannot remember a single surname. Am refusing to go and find old address books which will have them written down.
I'm trying to write a delicate love scene between my hero and heroine in High Speed, but I can't. The scene is about a rosy future, love, and most of all hope. Grief happens when there is no hope, when its all finished and there's nothing more to look forward to. I keep trying to write this scene, but time and again the hero and heroine look at each other and have nothing to say. They're in the back of a taxi, and no matter how much I push them together, they pull apart and end up staring quietly out the window with a chasm of silence between them.
I think I'll leave them to it.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
She as the sort of person who beleived in things. Really beleived in them. Put her money where her mouth was, and went out there to fight for them. Equal opportunities for woman was her major passion, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Equality for everyone, the environment... she was passionate about it all.
She loved politics, though I can clearly remember her utter horror when she was nearly elected to local government - she'd run just for the experience - never expecting she'd actually get anywhere. I reckon she was planning a move into that arena down the track. She'd have been good too - the one characteristic that outshone all the others was her integrity.
She influenced me alot, she showed me that it way okay to stand up and fight for what I was entitled for. When I commenced world war three with my workplace over my maternity leave she supported me all the way.
Mary-Jane died on Friday. She'd been treated for melanoma but the cancer spread to her liver and in the end it only took a few weeks. I still cannot beleive she is gone. She was only a few years older than me and had so much more to give.
I'll miss her.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I mean I should be on top of the world, and I am, its just Miss Bugalugs had me up at 4.30am and its been a looong day at work, plus I'm working every spare minute on marketing, promotion, book submissions and actual writing. Its times like these I really need hubby, and true to form he's stepped up to the mark and taken over without turning a hair.
Somewhere in this exhausted haze I'm mighty chuffed. Running Scared has got FOUR blue ribbons from Romance Junkies and a most excellent review. Its up on the website, but I'll put the pertinent bit here as well, just so I can re-read and gloat a bit more.
Caitlyn Nicholas has created a story packed with twists and turns. RUNNING SCARED keeps you guessing until the end. She has created interesting, real characters and the plot raises many social issues as well as being a good read. This book will open many people’s eyes. RUNNING SCARED is a good multi-layered book that has mass appeal - it has something for everyone to enjoy.I'm also a featured author on Romance Junkies - there's supposed to be a photo there as well, but I, ahem, forgot to send it. I've sent one today so maybe they'll put it up late for me!
They're considering sending their social photographer to my book launch. Yes, my five minutes of fame has finally, finally arrived. Come to the book launch and bask with me!
11am, 1st September, Leisure Readers Bookshop, 8 Edgeworth David Avenue, cnr Edgeworth David and Pacific Highway, opposite Westfield and next door to the tennis centre.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I encourage you all to surf over there and have a read - there's a photo. Yes. Having managed thus far without plastering images of myself all over the internet I appear to have had a rush of blood (or something) and am featured twice in two days. Its the heady odour of celebrity I think. I'm to be featured in the Bush Tele you know...
Not that it'll change me!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
We needed to take a photo you see, for the local paper. Usually they'd do it themselves but time is against us so hubby and I had to make do. Alas we are completely clueless when it comes to taking photos.
So, we've taken about one hundred pictures, all of me, and so far have three that I could live with! Am knackered, not very good at smiling in the first place and have my lippy on wonky, and WHERE exactly has my neck gone? oh how I love photos.
I'll stick the link up when I achieve every author's greatest dream - to be featured in the Bush Tele! I know you're all so proud!