Friday, October 8, 2010

Not the sharpest tool

So, how long have we owned this cafe??
Since january, so that's ten months. So why in the name of God's green earth did I never put it together that:

a) i have always written well in cafes
b) i now have my own cafe and should perhaps, oh, i don't know -- WRITE IN IT!!

now, I understand that during the day there's work to do (and most nights too) and babies to play with and love and cherish, but after the cherub has gone to bed?

it finally clicked tonight, and i stole downstairs at 9pm armed with a wad of paper and three different coloured pens and voila - pages were written. Good pages too. Ideas flowing, characters talking ten to the dozen, asking me where I've been and what took me so long to get to their story.

Who knew?

Of course I had to do a little bit of work on my space. A lamp pulled out of storage, chairs placed in strategic positions to create a kind of cafe cave. But it works! I have FOUND MY PLACE. My days of wandering from the bed to the couch to my paperwork ridden desk are over!

I'm so happy for writer me.

And it's a slightly different process for this book. Entirely different process actually. I'm doing a month of prewriting rather than the usual feet first oh crap process. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow night I might even crank up the stereo! Lord above - it's a riot over here!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Congrats Elisa!

The results from the Golden Heart happened today and I send out a big congrats to my fellow Unsinkable Elisa Beatty.

She also won the Royal Ascot, go Elisa!

I'm looking forward to seeing her book on the shelves.

In the meantime, I find that even thousands of miles away, the excitement of RWA10 is contagious. Can't wait to get into my work and feel newly dedicated. Gotta love that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sweet Enough?

I was at Costco the other day, when a nifty little book caught my eye. Sweet Poison. Nice title. And about a subject close to my heart - sugar. About how our bodies use is, about how we eat waaaay to much for our bodies to cope with. This book might have been written for me. I lurve sugar.
To me it's comfort. It's birthday parties with home cooked sponge or mum's lemon delicious pudding. It's sitting in front of the fire with mum chatting until she said 'i wish there was something nice to eat', only to have dad bring out a block of peppermint cadbury he'd squirrelled away for just such an occasion. It's lopsided, chocolate soaked lamingtons in my lunchbox and fresh baked biscuits picked off the cooling tray.
When I'm sad I eat sweet things. When I'm angry I eat sweet things. When I'm bored...well you get the picture. It was my all-rounder medicine. Although, come to think of it, it never actually fixed any of those things.
I read Sweet Poison in a night, stayed up late with the lamp down by the side of the bed. Gulped it down like a cinnamon donut.
And have been sugar free ever since. Ten days. Not that I'm counting or anything.
Cold turkey. Because I'm pretty sure that if I don't do something soon, I'm going to have another spare tyre and type 2 diabetes. I don't like the sound of that. I also don't like feeling beholden to a condiment.
And I am beholden, pretty much all of the time.
I proved it in the first two days when I realised that if something didn't have sugar in it, I really wasn't interested in eating it. Coffee? I've discovered I don't particularly have the palate for it unless I can heap sugar into it.
Who knew?
Every day so far has been a battle. And it's only been a week.
But I have to do cold turkey, because I'm that kind of person. If I muddy the boundaries, I'll be back to muffins for breakfast and hot chocolate with marshmallows for morning tea in a split second.
I don't know what I'm going to do the first time I get angry, or bored or sad. Perhaps actually try to deal with it? Novel thought.

I can't say I've got heaps more energy. Yet, anyway. I can say I've already lost 3 kilos. I can say that my skin is soft and clear now. I can say that the second day migraine was a corker. I can say fruit never tasted so good and so fresh and lovely.
so send me good sugar-free thoughts, I need the green vibes to keep me going!

Monday, May 31, 2010

When Secondary Characters Attack

I was doing some revision tonight.
Well, to set the scene, I was sitting in Starbucks, drinking a hazelnut latte FAR TOO LATE in the evening, plus a cupcake, plus a krispy kreme (and I wonder why I can't lose weight?), with Gabrielle sitting across from me pretending to revise but probably reading Facebook...
...anyway, I was reading over my scene. It was an innocuous scene. My hero and his buddie were playing billiards having escaped the ballroom. The problem was, somewhere during the rewrite, the best buddie, Captain Cosgrove, suddenly got some killer lines and a bit too much personality.
Suddenly HE was backing my hero into a corner, analysing him, finding him wanting. Next thing I know, I'm laughing out loud at his witty repartie, his bravery, his intelligence.
OH NO!!! The dreaded 'secondary-character-who-leaps-off-the-page' syndrome.
Crap. Now I don't know what to do, or even if I have to do anything. Captain Cosgrove is whispering in my ear (after thoroughly trouncing my hero at billiards) that he should have his own book, that he's worthy.

But I've got news for you, Captain Cosgrove. Make the most of your five minutes in the sun because no matter how witty and lovely you are - YOU ARE NOT GETTING YOUR OWN BOOK. Your happily ever after comes in about three chapters, and that's the end of you!
Deal with it, you gorgeous thing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A pocket full of time

I'm here.
I've come to the page.
It might be late, I might have had a crazy hectic day, but all that is done and I've finally arrived - dipping my hand into the small pocket of time I've found.

I ferret out these pockets most days with a stubborness that would surprise the me of two years ago, who could spend all Sunday in her pajamas.

Sometimes the pockets are ten minutes, sometimes fifty.
They encourage me not to sleep, or watch a rerun of the Vicar of Dibley, even though Dawn French always makes me laugh.

These little pockets are beautiful to me. A green oasis. A tropical island.

They are hard won and highly treasured.

They are most often before bedtime, when the demands of the day are truly done, and my man and my baby are fast asleep.

It's like that tonight. I'm sitting on the sofa, the lights out and a candle lit beside me. The swoosh of the dryer in the background is strangely soothing and it's just me and my laptop, throwing a stream of words into the quiet night.

I'm here.
I've come to the page.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life by Brochure Drop

This week I've been delivering brochures. Hundreds of them, to any house that doesn't have a 'no junk mail' sticker on their letterbox. I find now, that although I had one of those stickers on my last mail box, courtesy of the Wilderness Society, now I am utterly offended by them.

Junk, you say? What is it about the menu to my cafe that is junky? It's not junky! it's gold, I tell you, pure GOLD! You should be so lucky to read about our ricotta pancakes with spiced apples, hazelnuts and honey labne. lol.

But nevertheless, I walk past those letterboxes, even though most of the time they look like the letterboxes of precisely the kind of customers I would love to have.

But I digress.

I've discovered that delivering brochures gives me extreme envy. I walk past the sweet little cottages with gardenias planted by the door and wonder what those people did to be so lucky to own such a lovely house. House after house, each charming in its own way. Until I discover the house that just makes my heart sink into my stomach I want to own it so badly.

True to form, it's old. Old and falling down. The weatherboards are severely weathered, the garden crazy and overgrown. And the icing on the cake -- it has a vintage phone booth perched in the front garden, overgrown by vines, waiting for a vintage superman to come along and change in it. And I wonder, yet again, who is lucky enough to own this house? what did they do? Who are they? I wonder if i knock on the door if they'll give me a cup of tea and tell me their life story for the price of a piece of junk mail.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the moment

I'm sitting on the floor, spoonfeeding my little girl. Between chews and spits of polenta and beans, I rifle through the coffee table drawers and come across a chemist prescription.
Cephalexin, dated 9th May. Yesterday? How can that be? I could certainly use some anti-biotics at the moment, but I'm still going au natural for my remedies.

But no, it's 9th of May a year ago, when I had a week old baby and nether regions that were none-to-happy about it. I read on the prescription that Dr Hilary Donald saw me. Now I remember that too. She was brusk in the way she normally is, but more sympathetic than normal too - like she knows i could burst into tears at any moment.

But it wasn't the memory of my nether-regions that made me pause. A year ago, a whole year, I had this precious little bundle of newborn baby that I hadn't a clue what to do with. And I was so busy having no clue that I don't think I felt the joy of it. I was never in the moment, I was worried if I'd be able to feed in four hours, wondering if it would be permissable to fall asleep before dinner, crying because my breasts wouldn't co-operate.

Sitting here now, a year later, I find I want to go back there. I want to be in those moments again when she was first born and actually experience them this time rather than survive them. I have answers to all those questions I had when I was pregnant, and a year later, i feel very ready to have a newborn. lol.

I want to bath her again, being confident and not scared. I want to try feeding again, this time understanding my body and the way it works. I can't, we all know i can't and it's stupid to long for it.

So I have now. I have this sweet little one-year-old who is a joy beyond imagining. I need to be always in the moment with her, crawling on the floor, singing off-key, splashing in the bath with her, because this precious time will pass too. All those things I worry about?

Just things.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Today in Brunswick on the way home from the supermarket

me: "that's a very sweet dog."
Him: "Yep. He's a brunswick terrier."
me (stupidly): "Oh? I've never heard of that."
hm, laughing. "it just means he's a mutt, like Brunswick."

I love mutts. I love this place.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good Little Manuscript!

Awww, I feel so proud! The dear manuscript, A Whiff of Scandal, has gone and gotten itself a nomination for the Golden Heart® award with Romance Writers of America. I recently spoke to my manuscript and it had the following to say:

WOS: "Huh? You sent me WHERE?"
Me: "I sent you to the US, to be read by independent judges who would tell me how good or crap you were."
WOS: "You WHAT? Holy freaking hell, what were you thinking? Did you not for a moment wonder if you should run this by me first! I have rights!"
ME: "They loved it and you finaled..."
WOS: "Oh." Pause. "Are those flowers for me?"
me: "Yes indeed. You did good work."
Grumble grumble. "Why do you sound surprised?"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well it's been a while

I miss you, bloggie!
If there was to be a general catchup of what's been going on, it would go something like this.

BLOG: Where have you been? Is it SO hard to hit the 'new post' key?

ME: It's been hard to remember I even have a blog, much less technologically advanced processes like hitting the 'new post key'. I only did it now because i came here by accident.

BLOG: I've forgotten what you look like.

ME: Same as before, but lost two pounds. So, same as before but my pants fit a smidge better. Ie, no buttons popping off, no seams recklessly endangering life.

BLOG: Hmph. I heard you have been eating muffins and cream cheese frosting on a daily basis.

ME: You would too if you opened a cafe. SOMEONE has to test the produce!!

BLOG: A Cafe? Why would you do that?

ME: Good question. A cafe is stupidly hard work. I mean, worthy work and all, fun work and all, but ack, what a salt mine it is.

BLOG: So i guess between that and your baby you haven't been writing much? Should we change the blog template? Perhaps something bland and beige?

ME: Au contraire, little bloggie. I have finished my manuscript! In a hundred daily acts of defiance, writing time was found and pounced on, early or late, sometimes in the car at traffic lights. Triumph we have!

BLOG: Is Yoda here?

ME: Will you stop pouting if I say 'yes'?

BLOG: No. Pouting is my right.

ME: As are inane entries.