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It’s springtime in the tropics and the marigolds and nasturtiams are flowering, the cherry tomatoes are ripenings and the capscicums are starting to form. My garden is full of promise…

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And my current WIP? It, too, shows promise…but only constant nurturing and attention – and the promise of summer – will show if I get to reap the rewards of all my hard work.

How is your garden growing? Is it full of promise for the months ahead or is it dying of neglect? Only with hard work will you reap the rewards…

 

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Part of my role as teacher is to mentor young writers and illustrators. My young friends, Therese and Brianna, share their work with us. The question: who gets the chocolate frog for best illustration?  Let the voting begin….

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A simple budgeting tip for writers:

USE CASH

(it’s amazing how hard it is to part with)

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On culling books

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Aunty Millie always gave us books…every Christmas and every birthday…it was a family tradition that saw me making cubby houses on the shed roof, picking plums off the overhanging plum tree and reading about the adventures of Blinky Bill while trying not to stain the pages with plum juice. I carried on the tradition with my own children and managed to collect all the Famous Fives, Nancy Drews, Trixie Beldons and Anne of Green Gables several times over as my children grew up.

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We’ve also moved house – a lot – and I always packed our book boxes. The packers could do what they wanted with the Noritake dinner sets and the Bohemian Crystal but the books were mine…some of which I only got to touch at moving time…to gently place in a box at one end and just as gently lift onto its place on its shelf at the other.

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Until now. You see, it’s that time again – moving house time – only this time there are no packers and, come to think of it no book boxes. There’s nothing for it but to cull. Having moved a few times, with kids, cats, dogs and chooks in tow, I’m a bit of an expert at casting my eye  around and and deciding what goes with us and what doesn’t make the list. Usually, books always make the list – my books and the kids’ books – but this time as I wander from room to book laden room I find myself in a bit of a dilemma.

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It seems that the book fairies have been rather generous to us over the years despite laptops, iPads, and iPhones all sporting the ubiquitous Kindle app. I wander back to the front door and start a second reconnaissance…and groan.

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Three timber bookcases laden with books…add to that one coffee table piled high, two chairs with precarious piles (and an apple core Sam) and a dining room table, well it was a dining room table once…now it’s a book depository.

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Bedrooms…total count four bookcases and one wall of bookshelves…hallway…bookshelves and boxes of books…bathroom…yep, a pile of books on the floor…Sam?

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And last, downstairs to my study where all good books go to die…wall to wall bookshelves, piles of books on the floor and my beautiful timber study desk…laden with books.

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Did I mention we’re moving to a hundred year old beach shack that has – in total – two rooms? Hmmm…to cull or not to cull…it’s not even the question…it’s more a question of where to start or maybe when to start…or even why start at all???

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I blame Aunty Millie…

 

gilly

The teacher begins:

Today, class, you’re going to write a story. Not just any story. A good story. And in order to write a good story you must follow the rules of story writing:

A story?

1.  You must be disciplined.

…I’m not…

2.  You must work hard.

…I don’t…

3.  You must be organised.

…I never have been…

4. You have twenty minutes to write your stories, starting now.

…and so I stare out the window…

I’m a writer…I live in my head…I dream…I  think of somewhere else, anywhere else, where the world makes a kind of sense that it never does in this room…this room with its four walls and it rows of desks and a clock that ticks so slowly that it has to gather its energy to to continue its tedious journey around and around in ever meaningless circles…and I wonder who came up with such a punishing existence and called it…learning…in this classroom where we all stare out the window……dreaming…I close my eyes and begin to write.

Chapter One

…once upon a time…

 

Starting From Zero

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

lets_get_digital_amazonSuccess can seem unattainable to those starting out. It’s easy to forget that even the biggest sellers started from zero.

Amanda Hocking didn’t arrive on the scene as a fully formed sales machine. She didn’t have a platform which she had been diligently building up for years, nor did she come from trade publishing. She was unable to convince an agent to take her on and decided to self-publish instead, and then sold a million e-books in nine months!

Detractors tried to paint Hocking as an anomaly — and she was, in the sense that anyone who is phenomenally successful at anything is an anomaly.

But that missed the point: she was able to sell as much as the biggest names in publishing without the help of a publisher.

Soon, others followed suit. Authors like Bella Andre, Hugh Howey, HM Ward, Liliana Hart, and Barbara Freethy have sold millions of e-books…

View original 1,012 more words

I dare you not to be inspired by my young friend, Briana’s, story…what do her illustrations suggest…

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My mind is racing….who is the girl…what are her motivations…what is her journey….

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Give her some friends and a setting…and suddenly I have a plot for a story…

I didn’t expect it and I didn’t ask for it…but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, inspiration comes when I least expect it.

Who is the girl and how will her story unfold…

 

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