The Journey to Mail Order Surprise

Welcome!

So much to say….

sum-up-inigo-montoya

In early 2011, I sat at my computer and thought I’m going to write a book. Such a lofty idea. All I knew of the story was that there was a lady and she was on a train. Yup. All I knew about this story! So I wrote the first line and then the next and the next and… Well, you get the picture.

At first it was a secret. Just me and the words. The paper and I. Gradually, I introduced “Book Draft” to other people. At first, my sister, who I bugged  for feedback over the phone. Then to a few select friends (writers!). I joined ACFW and through them, Scribes the big critique loop.

I got feedback on my manuscript, still stubbornly called “Book Draft”. I learned a whole bunch of writerly stuff. Point-of-View. Character Arcs. Tension. Motivation. Add in some edits from the talented Helen Wakefield. I visited the US and attended a writers conference in 2012. There I learned a bunch more in workshops, met my critique partners, Lizzie and Susan in person, and met my agent, Chip MacGregor.

Life fast-forwarded along a busy road filled with family, church, and friends.

Contest finals came and went in 2013. “Book Draft” became “A Certain Woman of Worth” and then “Mail Order Surprise”. An Honorary Mention in the Maggie Awards. 2nd place in RWA Touched by Love competition.

Fast forward some more, blithely skipping over more writing, moving, getting married, a new baby, more writing, and much merry-making.

My agent submitted this book to one publishing house after another. All with varying responses, but the bottom line was no.

And then…

We tried (I say we, when it was really Chip. 😜 ) tried Forget Me Not Romances. Finally! A yes. Even better, a “I’d LOVE to contract this series”.

Series.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me introduce some old friends of mine, Beau and Lydia. You’ll find their story here.

Don’t mind me, I’m just going  to stare at the cover a li’l bit longer. Catch me on facebook. I’d love to chat. 😀

Mail Order Surprise

~*~

Buy it on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, etc.

P.S. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. This book started with one line over five years ago. Who knows where your dream will take you! 💜

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My Writing Space

My ‘office’.

Messy. Creative. Materials on hand. Index cards. Reference books–currently it’s “Deep and Wide” by Susan May Warren. Highlighter, pencil and biro on hand.

Lucy writing

Earphones in to drown out other noises under the bass and lyrics of Third Day or Nightwish.

I do have a desk and most of the time it looks tidy. I use it to ‘look’ professional and to hold up my growing collection of To-Be-Read craft books. The right is what I wish my office looked like…I can dream, right?

2013-02-27 19.19.55      what I wished my writing spot looked like

I’m working on some re-writes at the moment so it’s all index cards go! 🙂 Note (ha ha) my reference book covered in sticky notes and yellow highlighter. Makes finding important parts much easier!

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Do you have a special place that you write? The kitchen table? Comfy armchair? Only in a hammock in the Caribbean while surrounded by palm trees and cool drinks?

Photo on 2-27-13 at 7.48 PM #2

I offer you an “Invitation to Change” your habits, try somewhere new to write.

To create a new “Black Moment” for your characters…

And to write the coolest “Happy Ever After”

Happy writing and thank you for spending time in my writing space. 🙂

 

Interviewing, or should that be interrogating characters?

A continuation of Writers Imagination, a land that exists in the minds of my critique partners and my own mind. Hope you enjoy this excerpt. 🙂

Shh!” I’ve been wanting to stalk her for aaages.”

“Who? What?” Elizabeth picked a leaf from her hair and stared up, up, up at the perfect blue and white house. “And what do these people do all day? This house is ridiculously tidy.”

“SHH! Keep your voice down.” Lucy skulked to an open window on the left side of the house. “And keep your head down. Someone might see you.”

She waved Elizabeth across. “The Montgomery’s. Posh people in my story. Jane’s parents.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth nodded, squinting up at the edge of a lace curtain that dared creep out on a breeze.

“Why don’t you just knock on the door?” Susan strode up the path, gravel scrabbling after her black boots. “Here, I’ll do it seeing as you two are cowering under a window.”

“I’m not…we’re not…. Don’t—!” Lucy covered her face as Susan grabbed the brass knocker and gave it a couple of not-so-subtle raps. “Tell me what’s happening, Lizzie. I can’t bear to look.”

Elizabeth’s ruffled shirt tickled her nose as she leaned past. “Hmm, let’s see….. Oh. There’s this older woman. Um, well rounded, dressed in pink. Lots of pink.”

Lucy peeped open one eye. “Is she smiling?”

“Uh huh. Hmm, let’s see…aha.”

“Oh, let me look. I can’t bear the suspense.” Lucy squeezed her head past Elizabeth’s and stickybeaked around the corner.

Susan glanced over and waved. “Come on over!” she called.

Lucy pulled her head back and groaned. “She’s done it again. Talk about push me to greater heights—or is it depths? —in my story.” She levered to her feet and helped Lizzie up. “C’mon then. Oh, but first we need this….” From her pocket she withdrew a vial and shook it over them.

With a sneeze Elizabeth transformed into the perfect Elizabethan lady, complete with bustle, kid gloves and button-up shoes. Lucy smoothed a lilac ruffle on her own outfit and held the vial aloft. “Just wait till I get this near Susan.”

They strolled to the porch and joined Susan.

“I’ve just been telling this delightful—” Susan arched a brow. “—lady here that we’ve travelled quite some distance to get here.” She waved a hand at herself, Lucy and Lizzie. “We are, of course from the W of CIA”

“Yes.” Lizzie held out a gloved hand. “Just here on a short item of business.”

“Mrs. Montgomery. So nice to meet you at last.” Lucy beamed at her and gave a short curtsy. “I’ve read all about you and the great work you’ve accomplished here in town.”

Mrs. M dimpled and flapped a hand. “Pish posh. Nothing that anyone in my place wouldn’t have done.”

“Of course, of course.” Lucy tried to wave the bottle near Susan while keeping her attention on Mrs. M. She gave up and tucked the vial away in a hidden pocket. “If I may, I’d love to have a short audience with your daughter, Jane. Oh, and Tyrone if he is available.”

“Hmmph. You’ve just missed them. I believe they’ve taken an item of furniture and were returning home. You might catch them on the road to their, er, ranch.”

“Thank you. We’ll do that.”

“Goodbye!”

Stepping off the porch, Susan tossed them each a small rolled up rug. “Here, use these. They’ll be quicker.”

“Ooh, goody. Magic carpets.” Elizabeth unrolled hers with a snap and sat on it just like one would at a church picnic. “I’ve always wanted to try one.”

“They’re brilliant. Whoever invented them should be knighted.” Susan stood on hers and leaned forward, captain of her carpet.

“I can’t—get the hang—of it.” Lucy hopped on one foot and tried to clamber onto her green swirled carpet. “Darned thing. Arrgh.” She hopped around the corner of the street, still trying to climb aboard her hovering carpet. “Just go on without me, I’ll catch up in a minute. Jane and Tyrone are headed up the main street and then out to the ranch. We’ve cut in at the end of Chapter 9 so that’s where they’ll be.”

“Good. We’ll do that.” Susan settled her Akubra more firmly on her head and clicked to her carpet.

“Wait up!” Lucy yelled. “Before you go…. What does ‘W of CIA’ stand for?”

Elizabeth spun her carpet on a dime and grinned. “Writers of Character Investigation Association, of course.” She leaned down, picked up the dime and then shot off after Susan.

“Character Investigation. I knew that,” Lucy muttered as she worked her lariat between her fingers. “Must have missed that online course. Oh well. Maybe Lizzie will lend me her notes.” She spun a perfect loop above her head and snagged the corner of her carpet. With a tug, it held. “Good. Now hi-ho, off we go. I’ve got a character to interrogate.”

The Rockies spun past in a grey-green blur as her carpet ticked off the few miles separating them from the Montgomery’s and her target.

A sparkle lit her eyes and a giant grin slipped over her face. “Oh, yes, my pretty. Now you’ll talk. Oh, yes, you will.”

***

“Oh, no I won’t.” Tyrone thrashed against his bonds. The lariat as effective as keeping him in the ladder backed chair as it had been in towing her behind her magic carpet. “I don’t know who you are, but you’ll get nothing from me.”

“I’m hurt.” Lucy glanced up at Susan, sitting on a rock and playing fetch with her flying Aussie. “Did you hear that? He doesn’t recognize my voice. I thought I had a distinct voice.”

“You do. Now hurry up. We’ve got to meet Braden yet. It’ll be darkfall soon.”

“What are you on about? That’s crazy talk. And where’s my wife?”

“Don’t you worry…Tyrone. She’s safe—as long as you answer my questions.”

“I already told you, lady. I aint telling you nuthin’.” Tyrone kicked the leg of his chair.

Lucy circled him, hands on her hips. “I’ve been watching you for some time now. Observing you. Taking notes even.”

He scowled, thick eyebrows drawing together over the bandana Elizabeth had tied over his eyes.

“Oh, yes. I’ve got all the superficial stuff.” Lucy stood in front of him and crossed her arms. “But I want the juicy stuff. The secrets.”

“I aint got any secrets. I’m a plain, hardworking rancher who’s more than a lil riled right now.”

“Really?” Lucy raised a brow. “So what about the book?”

“What book?”

She pulled a small notebook from her pocket and flipped open it’s brown cover. “I’ll read an except shall I? See if that jogs your memory. “Day Ten. Just so yer know, Ethan. I hate this stupid dare book. Romantic thing I done: I’m not going hunting. And before you mouth off about this not being romantic—it was important to Jane, so it counts.

With a growl, Tyrone threw himself forward. Elizabeth caught the back of his chair with a catching spell and lowered him back to safety.

“Ah. So you do remember it. I know you keep secrets.” Lucy shut the book with a snap. “Tell me about your father.”

He blanched white. “No.”

“Why not?”

“He’s dead. That’s all that matters.”

“Is he? I was under the impression he’d left to go gold hunting in California.”

“He’s dead to me,” Tyrone yelled. “Just leave it alone. Leave me alone.”

Susan glanced up and shook her head. “Squishy feelings.”

“I noticed,” Lucy mouthed back.

“So, Tyrone. What about Miss Jane? What are you going to do about her?”

“None of your business. And if you’ve hurt her,” he growled. “Lady or no, you’ll have me to deal with.”

“Oh? So you’d defend her?”

“Yes.”

“Die for her?”

He gave a slow nod. “Aye. If it came to that, yes.”

Lucy leaned back against a pine tree. “But will you live for her, that is the question?”

“What are you on about? I am living.”

“No, no.” Lucy uncrossed her arms. “I mean will you lay your own life down, you expectations of her, will you let her live her life-her way. Will you live your life in a way that gives her complete, loving freedom?”

“Who said anything about love?”

“Come on.” Susan brushed off her jeans and stood. “You’ll be there all day on that subject. We’ll reconvene another time and try again. We need to go.”

“Not me.” Elizabeth glanced at the sundial on her wrist. “I’ve got a prior appointment.”

“Oh?” Susan and Lucy raised their eyebrows at each other. “Big enough to miss Braeden’s deep, dark, dreadfully—”

“Don’t you dare say dull!” Susan cut in.

“Wouldn’t dream of it. I was going to say dastardly.”

“Sure you were.” Susan rolled her eyes.

“Excuse me? Can I go now, or are you going to leave me tied up forever?”

“Oops. Sorry.” With a flick of her Bowie knife, Lucy released him. Elizabeth held him in place with a tethering spell until they were all safely aboard their respective carpets. “There you go. Until next time.”

“There aint gonna be a—” His words grew fainter as they zoomed away.

“Now. Lizzie, dear. What can be so dreadfully important that you’d want to ditch us? Can we come? Please, please?”

Writers Imagination and the characters that frequent that place.

Hi! Welcome to Writers Imagination. Yes, in case you were wondering, it’s an actual place. 🙂 Two of my critique partners and I share this story back and forth, adding a scene here and there and revealing all sorts of tidbits and characters that frequent that interesting place.

And for the record: I write Historical Romance, not Fantasy. Promise. I hope you enjoy this weeks edition. 🙂

A dragonfire tongue of warmth wound its way through Lucy’s middle. Drag Susan into a Historical Novel… It’s almost irresistible. She’s so deliciously low. So horribly dirty. I’ll take it! I’ll make a Duchess out of this draggle-tailed guttersnipe. She waved the line of script out of her face. “Go back to My Fair Lady. I’m thinking.”

Lucy focused on her friend opposite her. “Open your eyes, Susan.”

Susan shook her head. “No. It might be some horrid Edwardian drawing room.”

Lucy giggled. “Can’t you just smell the stuffy scent of gentleman’s cigars, and the chalky smell of ladies make-up…”

Susan groaned and clutched the carved arms of Lucy’s living room chair. “No way. You can’t make me look.”

Lucy smiled and slid a plate stacked high with lamingtons onto the table. “But all those smells are overlaid by the scent of cream cakes, and chocolate éclairs and—”

Susan’s eyes pried open. “Food sounds good.” Her mouth dropped open and she pointed. “What on earth is that?”

Lucy swiped a sweet off the plate, leaving a trail of coconut to her lap. “A lamington. Standard Aussie tucker. G’on, have one.”

Susan picked a square lamington off the fine bone china plate and turned it over in her hands. She broke off a corner and stared at it. “What’s it made of?”

Lucy swallowed her mouthful. “It’s a sponge cake, dunked in chocolate and then rolled in coconut.”

“Sponge?” Susan poked the cream colored middle that showed through the broken corner. “But that’s for wiping dishes.”

“Not in Australia. A sponge cake is a bit like an angel food cake.” Lucy started on a second lamington. “Just eat it, or I will.”

“I will, I will. In my own time.” Susan nibbled on her it for several minutes. “It’s not too bad. Better than being stuck in some drawing room with a bunch of overdressed ladies.”

Lucy dusted off her fingers, littering the sandwich plate in front of her with coconut crumbs. “Now, as I said, open your eyes.”

“They are open.”

“No, no. Look around. You are in a Historical Romance.”

Susan glanced around the room. “Um, I know you filled your story house here with prissy antiques, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been dragged into that era.”

“They’re not prissy…” Lucy arched a brow.

Susan reached over and bumped a side table. It wobbled and then settled back onto the brick that propped it up. “Hmmm, my point…”

“Not that one. It doesn’t count. He’s in training.”

“What on earth for?”

“The three legged race.”

Susan shook her head. “Now that’s just sad.”

Lucy smiled. “Sorry, couldn’t resist. But you are in a romance.”

“Ah—”

Lucy pointed out the bay window. “Look at all the houses. Look at the books. The threads that run through them are threads of love. Of romance. Of sacrifice, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice.”

“Umm, examples?”

Lucy wriggled back in her chair, rustling the satin of her gown. “Let’s take your story as an example…”

“Let’s not.”

“I’ll be kind. Here, have another lamo, and I’ll explain.”

Susan shook her head. “No, I’m watching my girlish figure.”

“Suit yourself. Now, where was I… oh yes. Romance in your fantasy story…” Lucy leaned back and drummed her fingertips on the table. “There is great examples of love in Lightrise. Of the extent that the great Lightkeeper himself went to provide a path for others to walk back to himself. The cast of thousands that work together, helping each other, caring, and showing hospitality.”

“Mm hmm. I suppose.”

Lucy fluttered her lashes. “And lets not forget Layna and Artek.”

Susan rolled her eyes. “No, can’t forget them.”

“So, you get my point. You’ve written a romance, like it or not.” Lucy folded her hands atop each other and tried not to look smug. “And seeing as you are in my story at the moment, you are in a historical romance. Ta da! Talk about sneaky. And you didn’t even know you in one.”

“Now, where the devil are my slippers?”

Susan turned and pointed. “What on earth is Rex Harrison doing here?”

“You mean apart from giving Ginger pointers in pronunciation?”

“What?” Susan swung back, mouth agape.

“Gotcha!” Lucy giggled. “No, he um, may have heard my mumbling something earlier and decided to pop in to help.”

Rex propped his thumbs behind his suspenders. “By George, it’s enormous. It’s the biggest offer I ever had.”

Susan leaned closer. “Does he have to be here? He’s weird.”

“I’ve been trying for a while now. He must have heard me talking about romance. For a gruff fronted fellow he knows a little about it.” Lucy stopped to dab the corners of her mouth with the cuff of her gown.

“Ahem.”

She looked up and accepted the handkerchief Rex held out.

He frowned at her. “Remember, that’s your handkerchief and that’s your sleeve. Don’t confuse the one with the other…”

Lucy ducked her head. “Thank you.” She kicked Susan under the table, just hard enough to get her attention.

“I think we need some help,” she hissed.

Susan held up a gadget the size of a rock but twice as shiny. “I’m dialling Elizabeth now.”

 

Dresses, Fashion and Societies that rule…

I’m talking writing and research today. Over the month of August I’ve been writing the sequel to the first historical romance I wrote. As I was researching various historical things for that I came across a brief reference to a group of ladies who were opposed to corsets, bustles etc.

In their own words: 

The Rational Dress Society protests against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movements of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health.

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My curiosity and imagination were sparked…

What if…

What if my heroine appeared to be a frilly, empty-headed social butterfly… who secretly hates all of that, and joins the Rational Dress Society, as well as likes to design and create things out of metal–just to be interesting.

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Why not? In a fictional world anything is possible!

What interesting tidbit have you picked up while researching? Or, what interesting thing have you seen and thought ‘hey, someone should use that in a book!’ 🙂

12 Funny Sayings about Authors

Hi! I thought I’d share a few smiles with some funny quotes I found on the internet. Have a great day!

Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure. Oliver Herford.

Writing is learning to say nothing, more cleverly every day. William Allingham.

The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business. John Steinbeck.

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. Peter De Vries.

Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research. Wilson Mizner.

“Paradise Lost is a book that, once put down, is very hard to pick up again.” Samuel Johnson I had to read this twice, and laughed both times! I’ve never read “Paradise Lost” and am now not sure I should! 🙂

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.  ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.  ~Terri Guillemets

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order.  ~Jean Luc Godard

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.  ~Robert Benchley Oh dear! May I never say this!

Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.  Marshall McLuhan

Quotes found on:
http://www.quotegarden.com/writing.html
http://www.basicjokes.com/dquotes.php?cid=319

What about you? Have you heard any rip-snorters lately that beg telling? Share the giggles. 🙂

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Who is coming to dinner when they read your book?

Huh? You say.

Let me expand a little more upon the idea. Have you ever considered that the books we write are like houses?

They are.

The people who read them are the visitors we invite.

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But I didn’t invite anyone! You say.

Yes… you did.

That interesting title and cute cover are intended to catch someone’s eye, and then wave them over. Before you know it, they’ve picked up your book, and hopefully, my book and are perusing it. Flipping it over to read the blurb. That’s the open door, the scent of something enticing wafting through it.

Before they know it, before you know it, you have a visitor to you book. 🙂

Now, some may hurry through, not taking the time to appreciate the richness of the story, while others may linger over every room, every chapter. Some may visit often, to savour a deeper glimpse of a theme or glean another gem from its surface.

Some visitors may only ever visit once, but I hope they found their visit rich, thought provoking and most of all, enjoyable.

What sort of houses, ahem, books have you seen lately? Were some shut up, or poorly signposted? Perhaps only frequented by family and friends.

Were they unattractive to look at? Their covers an untidy scrawl, loose pages evident from afar and content uninviting.

Just as we tidy up our own homes in preparation for visitors, so we tidy up our manuscripts for visits from others. Clear the clutter from sentences, any hint of dirt or smut from its pages and make it as interesting and streamlined as possible to read.

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Enjoy your visitors. 🙂 I hope they tell many others, so that they too may visit often and delight in the home you have created with all its intrigues, décor, and complex characters.

Celebrating The End.

Last night I typed “The End” on my manuscript, A Certain Woman of Worth.

After working diligently for just under a year, learning the craft of writing, editing, perfecting Point Of View, joining critique groups and doing even more editing I had written 93,362 words.

I typed those two important words. “THE END” Seemingly innocent by themselves, but together significant in what lay before them. A story that gripped my heart, danced through my mind (often at inopportune times, like when I wanted to go to sleep at 2am) and stirred my soul. A story that demanded to be written, one painstaking word at a time. A story that comes from my own store of hurts and trials, to speak forth truth and freedom. Of course, that’s just my opinion, others might think otherwise and want to use it to light the fire. But each to his/her own. 🙂

But after all the effort of getting there, I typed The End and sat there, laptop on my lap, cool draft blowing past me, cooling my nose. I blinked at the screen, expecting joyous emotions to flood me or Something Significant to happen.

And it didn’t. As one of my critique partners and friends pointed out, you kind of expect there should be music and a marching band or something. Instead nothing changes except that you typed, “the end.”

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Oh, well. I determined that I would celebrate in spite of my reticent feelings. Today I brought a packet of caramel Tim Tam’s and a can of pepsi for myself and a box of Shapes biccy’s along with a bag of marshmallows for the children- for being patient with me and for their encouragement.

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We eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we… no wait, I’m rewriting the end of that. …for tomorrow we write again!

Tomorrow, I shall give free reign to the new story ideas that have been bugging me for about the last six months. I shall plot and dream, and most importantly–write! 🙂

Makes me think when we come to our own End in real life. What happens then. Well, good news if you have trusted Jesus to be your Saviour–you can expect a ‘happy ever after’ with Him in heaven. And God being God, He celebrates things differently to us. He celebrated when we first trusted Jesus to save us, (kind of like the very first words of our fictional story, the Once Upon A Time) and when we get to heaven He will celebrate again. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.’

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How about you? How do you celebrate “The End”? Do you do anything special to mark the occasion? Are you still dreaming of writing those famous last words, if so how would you like to celebrate that occasion?

Heritage of Writing.

I’ve had my Grandma visiting me in the last few weeks and it’s got me thinking about heritage.

My dictionary defines heritage as:

heritage |ˈheritij|

noun [in sing. ]

1 property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance. Valued objects and qualities such as cultural traditions, unspoiled countryside, and historic buildings that have been passed down from previous generations.

I have a heritage that has been passed down to me, a Christian heritage from my mothers side and a non-Christian one from my fathers side. Thankfully, God saved me 9 years ago and the Christian heritage won out.

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But I started thinking about what other sort of heritages had been passed down to me, the ones other than hair and eye colour, and whether or not I’d be tall or short.

There is the heritage of the love of the Australia bush, installed by many hours of tramping through tropical bush rainforest on the property in Cooktown, Far North Queensland where I grew up, while helping my Dad.

There is love of history—not the boring facts and figures in dot point style—but the stories of pioneer men and women who helped forge and shape Australia. The stories from my Nana and Grandma of what it was like to make do with very little and how they created their own fun.

I was five years old before any other siblings came along, and in that time my mother put lots of time and love into me. She spent hours reading to me. She read countless books, in between putting loads of washing through the old Simpson washer machine and wringer. (I have not-so-fond memories of that pinching my fingers and wringing my arm up to the elbow. Ouch!), and then reading even more books at bedtime.

After watching my Grandma here, I do believe she has passed on a heritage of writing to me. Years ago she used to write a magazine called ‘Wake Up Australia’. A magazine dedicated to letting Aussies know about different issues that politicians were trying to push through Parliament to then vote on, or articles drawing attention to matters of marriage, abortion, and other important family issues.

She picked up my copy of Sol Stein’s, “Plot and Structure” (which I have very good intentions of reading…) and she’s been reading it as she plans on writing a book on the history of Manly in Brisbane.

It dawned on me that she had passed on a heritage of writing to me, both through observation and, perhaps, genetics… Who knows, maybe that sort of thing is written into our DNA (pun intended :)).

I believe it is possible to encourage traits, both writing and otherwise in others, whether they be children, friends or acquaintances. Encourage visible traits as well as others not so visible.

Things like: a love of reading (even if it is just a comic book or recipe’s). An interest in the events that shaped families/towns/nations into what they are today. And most importantly—stories! To encourage them to take the time to listen to someone’s personal story, read a well written book or even watch a documentary.

What about you? What sort of heritage are you passing on? To any children/grandchildren, or anyone who is following your own writing journey?

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Is it the sort of thing you have thought about before? And now that you have, now what? I’m going to be trying to encourage my children to read more, and not just by example of my nose stuck in a book 🙂

The Land of Writers Imagination.

Writers Imagination.

A friend and I are creating an epic fantasy story as we email back and forth based on a land I made up called “Writers Imagination”.

It is so much fun. Each email raises the bar in imagination and alliteration.

So far, we have all sorts of creatures and countryside that can only be identifiable if you are an author.

I’ll share a paragraph I wrote the other day, and then it’s your turn…

A myriad other stories bubbled in that dark, dank, corner of Writers Imagination called ‘Ideas Cauldron’. Quite a queer place, actually. Smells funny and the weirdest ideas pop out of the soupy, boggy ground to dance before you. Don’t visit that part of the land unless you have already exhausted the last lot of ideas you took home and got all the work you can out of them. They can be quite lazy you know, ideas that is. In Ideas Cauldron they speak quite convincingly of what they can do, and the things they know. So, arm in arm you skip home with them. Then they whine ‘oh, I don’t know anything else, that’s all I can think of,’ and ‘what do you mean you only got one sentence worth of work out of me?’ They seem quite content to sit and pout in a comfy chair in the corner and consume all the tea and biscuits in the house while you wait for them to start work again. Sigh.

What about you? What sort of characters/writers could you see living in this land? An older gentleman dressed in a tan waistcoat and a cheery face who, whenever I (briefly) visit Writers Imagination, he pops his head out of his door, with a tea cup and saucer and says, “More tea please, love.”

And just for the record—I am a Historical Romance writer—not a fantasy writer. I swear, and on a pile of tea cups and biscuits. 

I’d love to hear what sort things live in your Writers Imagination 🙂