Thursday, August 30, 2007

Human again

It is so good to be feeling human again. The flu hung around for about ten days but it only took a meeting with my writers group to start feeling energised again and then two days later I was back at work.

Mind you, it was hard to get back into that mindshift of getting up in the morning and going to work, instead of sleeping half the day. That's the trouble with being an owl instead of a lark. Mornings are torture.

So now I've rejoined the human race, I have lots to do. Besides catching up with sleep while I was sick, I also watched a few movies: Music and Lyrics (never say no to a Hugh Grant movie), Stranger than Fiction (especially interesting from a writer's point of view). I haven't brought myself to watch Volver yet - the fact that I'd have to read the movie and that it's over 3 hours along is a bit offputting at this point. Maybe Sunday. Plus I read Undead and Unpopular, Oh my Goth, Seven Steps on the Writers Journey, Pen on Fire, and I'm now halfway through Blind Submission.

Last year when I created Chickollage as a term for my chick lit collage poetry, I also started the Chickollage blog, talked a bit about it here and there, opened the Cafepress shop, and then about a month later looked up to find that someone had bought the domain about a week after I started the blog. I guess they were waiting for me to make millions and then sell the domain back to me for squillions. Well, I haven't made millions and their registration has expired so I'm now the proud owner of the domain, trying to work out what I'm going to put on it. Yet another thing on the to do list, but I'm imagining it will soon feature my favourite collage poems, a daily poem (yes, got to get back into the daily habit), and links to the big wide collage poetry world.

And yes there is writing to do. I'm anxiously waiting for feedback from the Chick Lit writers competition for Diary of the Future, to see if I'm on the right track or not. And I need to rewrite the synopsis. I'm going to break it down to the three act structure then use the turning points to construct the skeleton of the synopsis as Jenny Cruisie suggested at the Romance Writers Conference. Then I want to rewrite the beginning two more times (with different starting points) and events to see which one works best. I need to get this one polished up and out the door by the end of October so I can dive into another round of Nanowrimo in Novmber.

It's all happening...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring

It's a bit wet here at the moment.

So wet, we can't even drive out and get a loaf of bread.

This is the road to the local shop. There is a bridge under all that water.

And this is the road to the local supermarket. You can see a couple of broken down cars on the other side of the water. I guess they drove through it.

There are only two roads out and they are both underwater so I guess we just have to hibernate for a while. I'm glad our house is on higher ground although the backyard is very soggy.

Not our backyard!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Back from Sydney

I'm back from Sydney with a souvenir that I didn't want - the flu! But other than that piece of baggage the trip was great.

7 days seems like a lot of time in a city when you start planning a trip but then I took out 3 days over the weekend for the Romance Writers Conference, another day to travel across the city for a meeting with Aurora TV, a day to recover from the conference, a day to travel out to the burbs to meet the new nephews and a day to have another meeting, a visit to the doctor for my partner and the Chris Wilson gig at The Vanguard, and suddenly its time to come home again. Sorry for anyone that I did not manage to catch up with. Being busy on the weekend meant that I really couldn't catch up with friends who were working. Next time.

The conference was fantastic and it was lovely to meet so many enthusiastic writers. The Jennifer Cruisie workshop was awe inspiring and left me with a lot of food for thought. Other workshops were just as informative - in fact I wrote pages and pages in my notebook.

I forgot to take my recharger and rechargeable batteries so I ran out of battery power just before the masquerade so I didn't take any photos that night. It was extremely colourful, full of sequins and feathers and I had a hard time recognising faces the next day. In fact, I didn't end up taking many photos at the conference at all - just lots of notes.

It was really odd hanging around Annandale, our old stomping ground. It has changed so much since we lived there. Our old abode, which was above and beyond the butcher shop is now a restaurant and two units. There is now a gourmet pizza bar, the North Annandale hotel is totally spruced up (and how much is it to hang around pubs now without the haze of smoke!)

While it was nice to be away and hang out with writers and meet new members of the family, its also good to return home. Dorkus the cat certainly thinks so. He didn't treat the cattery as a detention centre this time, going on a hunger strike. This time he ate as he was supposed to. But he's happy to be home and following me around everywhere. That is when I'm vertical. Because this flu is not allowing many opportunities for that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One sleep to Sydney

One more sleep and then we're off to Sydney. Very exciting although I'm sure Dorkus is already cursing me and feeling very sorry for himself because he's already delivered to the cattery. Last time he was there, he reckoned he was in a detention camp and went on a hunger strike -- he's there longer this time so he better eat something! Mind you, it wouldn't hurt him to lose some of that extra fat.

Sydney is shaping up to be really good. Not only do I have 3 days with writers in writing workshops at the Romance Writers of Australia conference, I will get to see my new nephew Damon, my relatively new nephew William and my niece Abby.

Plus I've just had the pleasure of visiting Chris Wilson's website to check out his tour dates and he will be performing in Newtown on the 15th August. And I haven't seen him perform for approx 8 years. Plus it's a relaunch of that beautiful album Live at the Continental. This time - Live at the Vanguard. A very fitting night out for our anniversary. Certainly more appealing than driving back home for 7 hours in the car. That can wait until Thursday.

Major updates in the Chickollage shop - lots of new photo collage designs by Jennifer Gordon, with some Photoshop doctoring by myself. Check out the Cards for all Occasions section.

Will be back during the week with news and updates of the Sydney trip.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Byron Bay Writers Festival - I'm back

I took my mask out for a practice run on Thursday. It was the Coffs Cup and although I didn't go to the races, we were encouraged to dress up as if we were going to the races that morning at work. I had decided to wear my mask and put on some velveteen pants and a purple top. I was hunting around in my wardrobe for a jacket, when I swear a dress started to speak to me, insisting that I should wear it to work. It's a gorgeous long maroon/purple dress with a lace overlay and I haven't worn it for many years. I think the last time I wore it was to a winter wedding. So I took it out and put it on.

Dorkus discovers my mask has feathers.

Must've known something. I won a bottle of wine and a small box of choccies for being the Most Extravagantly Dressed. And the dress felt good. I may even wear it again to the Romance Writers' Conference Masquerade instead of the dress for which I'd orginally colour coordinated the mask.

Some of the Byron Bay pilgrimage.

I had a great weekend at the Byron Bay Writers Festival. Even eleven women with only two bathrooms didn't seem to matter. Actually, I didn't spend any down time in the cabin during the day. I was at the Festival from around 9.30 each morning until 5pm filling my head with writerly notions, literary aspirations and recharging my writing mojo. I ate at the site, I even braved the Kenny-style monster feet-pedal-flushing portaloos.

I resisted the urge of all those books in the Dymocks tent, although I mentally noted a number to track down at a later time. However I did buy The Shadow Thief by Alexandra Adornetto. What an amazing self-assured and gorgeous young lady she is! I got a shock several pages into the book to discover that the sister's name is Dorkus, the same as my cat. I sometimes see Dorcas but not spelled the exact same was as my boy!

Alexandra Adornetto on the Young and Female panel.

I was able to talk to Eva Sallis, who taught me Novel Writing many years ago in Adelaide, and thank her for setting me on the path. I really believe that people come into our lives at exactly the right time. And at that time I was ready to start on that path. In another session about publishing, they discussed the importance of having a writing community, and I know I have that with the wonderful Nambucca Valley Writers Group. So now I have my writing mojo back, and plan to have even more with the Romance Writers of Australia conference next weekend.