Wednesday, 16 April 2014

autumn garden love

Could there be a more perfect time to work in the garden?  Blue skies, warm days, soft light.  It's just amazing!  We made the most of a beautiful weekend and set to, laying mulch (just out of view, photos to come) and starting another new garden bed.  Here's a glimpse at what I'm loving right now - a stunning plectranthus cutting Joe propagated - I can't get enough of it!
 This rose - Joyfulness - was one I found in the nursery's orphaned plant section.  It was looking well and truly miserable until I brought it home and cut it back - just look at it now!  I've resisted temptation to pick this bloom as it looks so gorgeous outside.
These new dahlias and chrysanthemums have filled a bare gap along the fence line.  I'd meant to spread them out a bit more, but as they sat together waiting to be planted out, I could see they needed to be put in the ground en masse.
The bees are loving them too!

Friday, 11 April 2014

changing rooms...

I'm a big one for changing rooms.  I cast my eye over the place and think the space will work better this way or that and won't rest until it's done - much to my husband's delight!  Now that we're finally getting our house laid out just so, I've turned my attentions to my blog!  I've used a new template, but also went in behind the scenes and altered some of the code - scary, I know!  Google was, of course, a lot of help and I've managed to make my desired changes.  I'm going to reclassify some of my posts into more streamlined labels whenever I get the chance.  Of course, it's school holidays here, so it will be in between maintaining diplomatic relations between my children - wish me luck!

Monday, 7 April 2014

working differently...

I started 2014 with massive expectations - two mornings per week would see Jono at kinder, giving me time to work on my novel.  I didn't get through a full fortnight without someone home from school... and so the term continued.  Instead of planning around set days, I'm back to where I was last year, making the most of small pockets of time.  On Saturday morning I had the house to myself and quickly set to work.  I cut up 40 pieces of card and worked out the action for every single chapter.  I've started this on the computer, but this was much more effective.  I was able to easily shuffle things around if I decided to change something, add in scenes as required and worked out how to combine action into the same chapters.

I've never worked with something this big before - the current total is just over 60,000 words!  The document is over 200 pages in size and it's easy to get lost.  I don't want to print it out all the time, so I'm doing as much on the computer as possible.  Backups are made via the computer hard drive, plus I also email myself a copy at the end of each writing session.  Now that each chapter is laid out, I'm going to rearrange the current document to reflect these changes.  It's tedious, slow work, but something that's manageable in small pockets of time…  Wish me luck!

Friday, 4 April 2014

library loving: watching and reading

It's not always easy to get out to see the latest movies.  We rely now on the local library service and its wonderful network throughout Victoria.  Lately, we've had a fabulous run of viewing - the last few episodes of The Americans that for some inexplicable reason we missed at the time of screening.  Both Save the Date and I Give it a Year were titles Joe screwed up his nose at, but managed to sit his way through them and offered a few enthusiastic laughs.  Parkland was completely absorbing - the immediate aftermath of JFK's assassination.  Just as horrifying now as it would have been at the time - this movie comes highly recommended but is definitely heavy viewing.
 I suffered a book drought that was well and truly broken by the above four books.  JoJo Moyes' The One Plus One was one of mum's library scores and when she passed it on recently, it was a lifesaver.  Featuring the coming together of one dysfunctional family with a man whose mistakes threaten to ruin his career, this book will keep you reading well into the small hours.  Balancing Act centres around a family pottery business and the three generations it supports - a great weekend read.  Ann Leary's The Good House grabbed me from the start - I fell in love with Hildy Good, whose character was so cleverly written and narrated.  I was delighted to find that this novel is to be made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro - read the book first though and let me know what you think!  The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is just as good as its beautiful cover promises - Margaret Dilloway's handling of Galilee Garner and her passion for rose breeding shows serious illness is no excuse for living life on the sidelines.
Here's a taster of what's on my bookshelf next!  I read Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place a few years ago - a beautifully wrought memoir of the period in which she battled breast cancer as her father simultaneously had prostate cancer.  This stage of her life - as both a mother of children and a being someone's child herself - inspired the title.  Glitter and Glue is another memoir, this time reaching back into the 1990s when Corrigan travelled from America to Australia as a backpacker.  Unable to work legally, Corrigan nannied for a recently widowed Sydney man and his two children.  I'm looking forward to delving deeper over the next few days.  I haven't read any of Jennifer Close before, but I'm hoping these two novels above live up to their reviews.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

the writer's edition: month 12 check-in

This post could be subtitled 'The Kinder Myth', explaining my absence from the computer, both blogging and writing.  We've all had a run of bad health - nothing serious, but enough to be keeping us from our commitments.  I'd forgotten about these early years of the education system, when little immune systems aren't as strong as they could be and kids seem to pick up everything on offer!  The result: my manuscript continues to grow, but slowly.  Word count is sitting on 58,790, which is a reflection of the editing and rewriting that's occurring at the moment.  There's not going to be any major changes to the structure from now on - it's more the fine tuning stage that I've reached…  and it could take quite some time!

Friday, 21 March 2014

for the love of dahlias

Beautiful bright dahlias are colouring our world!  These images represent the small handful I have growing, to be added to in time.  
Wherever they sit in the house they look delicious  - in the kitchen... 
 …  living room, looking out to the back garden...
 … or just sitting on the tiles catching the afternoon sun...
 Hope they brighten up your day too!
PS.  This was meant to be a much longer post, but this little man has been on my lap demanding cuddles and kisses - how could I refuse?!

Friday, 14 March 2014

last of the summer roses and an amazing rescue

I'm enjoying the last flush of roses, picking them as often as I can and wondering what will replace them in the winter.  It's been such a treat to have my own flowers to cut when I like - simple pleasures!  It's been unexpectedly quiet in these parts - we've been knocked by the cold and flu pre-season.  I did remarkably well and had a nasty cold followed by an even nastier sinus infection - it completely knocked me, making me wonder why I've been wishing away the end of summer...
Minnie has been elevated to hero status, having alerted me to a red bellied black snake outside yesterday.  Scarily enough, it was just near where Jono and I had been gardening only about ten minutes beforehand.  Jono had been in bare feet and I'd been pruning and moving a few plants into a new section of garden bed.  I shudder to think where the snake was at this time…  Anyway, Minnie saved the day and has walked away unharmed - I don't know how she didn't get bitten as she took on a very formidable opponent.  Needless to say, there's no doubt in my mind now that she was the best dog we could ever have - three cheers for Min!
One last rose!  Isn't it just divine!  It was in the orphaned plant section (my favourite, love it for the bargains!) looking very sad and sorry for itself.  It's done fairly well this summer, but could do with moving in the autumn to give it more air and light - it's a bit crowded in currently.  A mystery for me as it was marked as being 'Lady Ophelia' but when I google the images, it looks nothing like the pictures that my search returns.  It looks more like some kind of David Austin rose to my uneducated eyes - perhaps someone out there might know?!