Friday, 24 October 2014

no plot? no problem! the writing guide revealed...

Nanowrimo is just around the corner - the national novel writing month founded in America is now fifteen years old.  Author Chris Baty's 'low-stress, high-velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days' uses a great deal of humour to support crazed creatives in their efforts to succeed.  Coffee, stolen time and getting rid of the inner editor are essential according to Baty, who says writers just need to keep moving forward.  Whether you plan on writing a novel in 30 days or not, this is a fantastic guide to getting started and a wonderful insight into the process.

Essentially, it doesn't matter if you don't have your novel mapped out from start to finish when you write that first word - the plot will reveal itself.  I felt myself falling into that trap last week, when I sat down to start my second manuscript.  I thought I needed to research heavily first, but then I realised I could write and research at the same time.  What I needed to do was to start writing - and have now amassed nearly 8500 words.  I highly recommend Baty's guide, forget about the 30 day deadline if you prefer, and concentrate on the content and many tips by fellow writers - enjoy!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

blooming marvellous!

Gah!  All the roses are opening, our penstemons (top right) are just about to burst and the orange tree is filled with blossom and baby fruit - perfect photographic material!  For such a time of growth, however, the lawn is already starting to dry out with flushes of heat and no rain.  We won't water all the grass over summer, so we'll enjoy the patches of green while they last.  Must make mention of our Chicago Peace rose (bottom left) and Woburn Abbey - both new to the garden this year and alive with colour - just love them!

What roses make your heart sing?  Any recommendations for next year?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

roll up! roll up!

Card tricks and more were the order of the day for Sophie and Tom's magic show.  Once Soph moved past the trick where all four cards were the same (and of course it was easy to guess what someone had picked), she then fluked two of the right ones - hence Tom's wide-mouthed look of surprise in the bottom left-hand corner.  The show was the culmination of an afternoon's practise by Sophie and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Monday, 20 October 2014

and so it begins - the second manuscript...

There has been no rest for the wicked, writing-wise that is!  Now that my first manuscript is wending its way into publishing houses for appraisal, I have started work on my second.  It's no secret that I'm mad about gardens (particularly for those of you who follow me on Instagram) and one in particular will form the major backdrop of this next story.  It's hard to say more without giving too much away  - so exciting for you all, I'm sure (!)  - but it's more the background, the writing process that I share here.

I have been ruminating on the basic storyline for a while now (careful to not give it too much air play as I didn't want to interrupt my first manuscript) which has allowed the creative processes to commence.  Rather than being scared I wouldn't have anything to write, whenever I'm thinking about the story, there is an overwhelming rush of ideas - and long may it continue!  I know where my protagonist grew up, what she worked as before she married and how she met her husband.

I've been making the most of spare time - half an hour in between kinder drop off and the hairdresser's gave me time to make pages of notes to be transcribed to my computer.  I bought a reporter's notepad especially for this project - a Spirax pad with the rings at the top, perfect for a left-hander like me who usually runs out of room on left-bound notebooks.  It's the type of book I had when I worked in rural journalism back in the mid 1990s - 20 years on and I'm still using some of the same technology.

And between the notepad, tablet, laptop and computer, let's hope I can create something worth reading!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

icecream party invitation (or icypole if you prefer!)

A very excited girl is soon to have a birthday party!  I rustled up some invitations for her during the week and thought I would share the template, if anyone is interested.  I created them using InDesign and will try to make a similar cake - wish me luck with that!  I will post pictures down the track.  Guests' names were printed along the stick and details filled in as per the picture.  I have attached links to the PDF below - please let me know if you have any problems with them as this is the first time I've tried sharing files online.  I would imagine you could overtype on the PDF or fill them in by hand - enjoy!

Icecream invitation Black and White
Icecream invitation Colour
Icypole invitation Black and White
Icypole invitation Colour

Thursday, 16 October 2014

in the garden...

Recent warmth has made our garden leap alive with budding roses starting to flower, snowball viburnum bursting into showy balls of white, pink pig face opening and closing as the days rise and fall.  Every time I go out, there is something else to see - this morning I noticed a new day lily is about to flower, one of a few we bought from our local market earlier in the year.  I've snapped unopened rose buds from their bushes and brought them inside, the heady scent of Papa Meilland leaving me desperate for more.  Another season to enjoy, admire and soak in - another season in our garden.

Are you enjoying the awakening of your spring garden or are things starting to shut down for winter?!  What is taking your fancy as you look at the world around you?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

the alphabet challenge continues...

The Fat Mum Slim photo a day has been more of a challenge than I expected.  I usually post to Instagram every day anyway, but achieving alphabet-readiness is something else entirely.  Here were see Melbourne, nurse and old linen, the latter being the most challenging as I searched for something beginning with 'o'.  I think the next few letters will be less of an issue, until we reach the magical 'z' - which I'm sure will involve much thinking outside the square!

How are you all, wherever you are?  It's been a busy week and I look forward to getting back into the swing of my blog after a couple of days away too…  more tomorrow!