Happy Ever After – A sneaky peek…

With Happy Ever After ready to go back to my editor I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the story and its setting.

The blurb…

Kate and Neil Spence met at Circular Quay after the Hiroshima Day march in August 1985. Kate was marching, Neil was not. It was love almost at first sight.

And they all lived happily ever after…or did they?

Over thirty years have passed, their children have grown and Kate and Neil have gone from being happily married to being happily separated. That is until Neil asks for a divorce – and another wedding brings up feelings that both had thought were long gone.

What’s it about?

Happy Ever After is a love story, but more than that it’s a story about love. It’s a story about how love changes, grows and is challenged over the years. It’s about the curve balls life throws us just when we’re ready to begin realising our dreams. It’s about living the better or for worse and richer and poorer thing and it’s about coming out the other side. It’s about family, friends, second, third and even fourth chances for a happy ever after. Mostly though, it’s about love.

The setting…

Happy Ever After is set mostly on Sydney’s north shore. We also visit Queenstown and the Milford Track – in the rain when the mountains look like they’re crying silvery streams of tears.

A starring role goes to my favourite tree in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens. It’s the Moreton Bay Fig that sits above the Opera House. From here you can see across to Fort Denison. I’ve eaten many a sandwich under the shade of that tree.

Where did the idea come from?

I was listening to some of my old protest style music from the mid 80’s while I was cooking one Saturday afternoon– songs by Goanna and Shane Howard, Redgum and Midnight Oil.  The music took me back to my first year at uni. Although I wasn’t involved in student politics, there was a rumour going around that Midnight Oil might be playing at the end of the annual Hiroshima Day march. So I marched…well, sort of. To be honest, it started off as a lark but got a tad boring and I bailed out about halfway down George Street.

Not that it mattered – Midnight Oil weren’t there. They were touring the US at the time. I got to see them later that year at a Wilderness Society concert for the Daintree Rainforest.

Of course, these days rumours like that couldn’t get properly started, but back then we didn’t have social media, the internet or mobile phones. Back then it was harder to stay in touch if you fell out of it. I had fun having Kate find coins and a pay phone to call and let her parents know she’d be home late.

Anyways, it started with the music and, just a week later Happy Ever After became my 2017 NanoWrimo project.

Happy Ever After will be published later this year. Sign up to my newsletter for publication dates and pre-order deals.

 

 

20 things I’ve learnt from our sea-change

On this date last year I waved goodbye to our movers truck as it left Sydney to head to the Sunshine Coast and our sea-change.

The following day I flew to the Sunshine Coast to join my family – who had moved up six weeks before. That day we settled on the purchase of our home up here, and the day after that our movers arrived. Four days later we flew back to Sydney and out to Vietnam for two weeks – and ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie blew in…but that’s another story entirely.

A year on and I’m grateful for the chaotically perfect storm of circumstances that prompted our sea-change. Sure there are things that I miss – family, friends, decent dumplings, the money we were earning. I certainly don’t miss the daily commute to earn it.

There’s so much more to love up here. I love our house, I love where we live, I love the coast, I love the hinterland, I love the way that we live more simply and more seasonally. I love our life.

A year on from our sea-change, I’ve also learnt a lot about Queensland and the Sunny Coast…

1.Being a #queenslander is a thing.

2. U-turns at traffic lights are ok and indicators are optional extras.

3. The 24-7 Snakecatcher has a very active Facebook page.  Instead of those “baby on board” stickers, his vehicle has a warning about snakes being inside. How do I know that bit? My daughter parked next to one at Coles the other day.

4. When it rains, it RAINS. None of this wimpy dribbly stuff that the rest of Australia gets. We get real RAIN.

5. There really are a lot of cane toads and they really are that ugly.

6. The bugs are bigger in Queensland. Adventure Spaniel was kept out of her kennel the other night by the biggest stag beetle she’d ever seen – and it was looking at her.

7. Activewear is appropriate for most social occasions.

8. So are thongs (flip-flops or jandals…)

9. The parking is actually free. Yes, really. That means you don’t pay for it. In most places.

10. Nearly everyone came here from somewhere else. Apparently, we’re all imports – with most of us coming from Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland.

11. This state is huge and I want to see so much more of it.

12. You don’t need to leave for the airport three hours before your flight.

13. Seeing the sunrise from a Sunshine Coast beach is the best possible way to start a day.

14. Aside from the ones doing school pick-ups at those schools, 4WDs actually seem to go off-road – and have the accessories to match.

15. As well as having more acai bowls than anywhere else, the Sunshine Coast has more mobility scooters per head of population than anywhere else in Australia*. There are even designated scooter parking areas outside Woolworths.

16. Nudibranchs are a type of colourful sea-slug. Truly.

17. On the Sunshine Coast, wherever you are, you’re rarely more than 30 minutes from either the coast or the country. We can be in Mooloolaba in 10-15 minutes, or in Woombye in the same amount of time. It’s the perfect sea-change and tree-change in one.

18. I still haven’t found great dumplings. the yum cha at Maroochydore is okay, and XO at Sunshine Beach is nice, but neither do a truly great xiao long bao.

19. Dumplings are not a good reason to stay in Sydney.

20. I don’t want to live anywhere else. Of course, I still want to travel – a lot – but I travel now for different reasons.  And I look forward to coming home – to here.

*There are no real studies or statistics to support this assertion.

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.


The Novel Project – Week 19

Okay, yes I’ve missed a few weeks. I have been writing, but I’ve also had competing priorities with the day job and a few other bits and pieces. I think it’s what we call “life”.

So, where am I up to?

I’m done with this book…for now. This morning it went off to my editor for a structural review. Once she gets back to me I’ll do another re-write, but I don’t expect to be picking it back up until May – when I’m back from my holiday in France.

This novel is both the fastest one that I’ve written – I started on November 1 at Nanowrimo – and, at 105,000 words, the longest. At times it felt as though it was writing itself. That’s not to say that it was easy writing – it absolutely was not. There were scenes in this that I had huge emotional difficulty with. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion – not a good look at the Surf Club, let me tell you.

There were also times where I had to put it away for a week or so at a time – when the characters were taking me down a path that at times I didn’t want to go. Most of the time I ended up letting them lead the way.

This book is about a love story, but that’s not all that it’s about. It’s also about loss, second and third chances, and new beginnings. It has grown-up characters and grown-up themes.

When I started this book I wanted to write about some of what happens after the happy ever after, and I also wanted to write about some of the unexpected challenges that face us in middle age – especially regarding age discrimination in the workplace. I’ve done that – to a point – but the single question I started this story with very quickly went out the window. Up until two weeks ago I truly had no idea how it was going to end.

It’s set in both Sydney and New Zealand, so I hope will be a good companion piece to Wish You Were Here. It’s also a story that excited me from the minute that I began writing.

And the title? Well, it won’t be Happy Ever After. At this point I’m undecided. Book No.5 is the current oh so catchy title.

So, what happens now – while I’m waiting for my editor’s notes? I keep writing. I’d decided to delay publishing I Want You Back until I was ready to release the other two books in the series, so that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow – picking up Tiff’s story again. I was at the 25,000-word mark when I put that one aside at the end of last October.

I also have a freelance astro article to write before I go to France (did I mention that I’m going to France for a holiday?) and business as usual in the day job. I have plenty to be getting on with.

Until next time…

Jo xxx

 

 

Happy Ever After – Week 9

I’m not long back from my morning walk. The surf has been spectacular over the last couple of days. It’s because of the Super Moon bringing super high tides, and a tropical low off somewhere in the Coral Sea.

I could have stayed down there and watched it for hours. Plenty were. I don’t think I’ve seen so many people (outside of whale season) just standing and watching the ocean – or quite as many surfers in the water at one time. There is, however, work to be done. And, as I have to log on later this afternoon into a teleconference for the partition job, a limited number of hours to do it in.

So, progress on the novel. I’m nearly done – with the first draft anyway. A couple of chapters will have it finished – hopefully by the weekend. I’ll be going straight into re-write mode with this – it has an appointment with my editor mid-March.

I also pulled out I Want You Back over the weekend and did another proof-read. It feels as though I’m missing something, but I don’t know what. Perhaps it’s because I intended releasing this as part of a three-book mini-series that I’ve managed to interrupt with Happy Ever After, I don’t know. At just 73,000 words it’s also much smaller than anything I’ve written previously – again because I intended it to be the first in a three-book mini-series. It’s not much longer than a genre romance. At that length, there’s very little room for sub-plots.

Anyways, I’ll write the blurb this week and send it off for formatting, but I’m still undecided as to whether I release as a stand-alone. The alternative is waiting until I’ve completed Tiff and Alice’s stories. I’ll need to think about that, but if anyone has ideas, please let me know!

Until next week…

 

2018: The Word

Although I don’t always achieve as much as I set out to achieve, I am a goal-setting junkie. Every so often I think I should throw the goals out the window and just let it all be and flow, but I know myself a tad too well for that to work:

  • I have major issues with boundaries – I have no idea where they start or end. It’s why I can eat mindlessly whatever is on my plate and, also why I set myself deadlines – without them, I’ll drift on and on.
  • I’m a tad like Dory when it comes to focus. This meme literally is me.

  • I have a tenuous connection with reality and can successfully convince myself – in the absence of evidence to the contrary – that anything I want to believe is true can be so. This is great for when I need to believe that anything is possible, but not so good when I’m confronted with an expanding waistline. I truly admire those people who can manage their weight through the fit of their clothes. Nope, unless I see it on the scales it isn’t happening.

Why I set goals

Without goals, I drift and achieve absolutely nothing. I need the discipline and structure that a goal brings in order to get anything done. As far as I’m concerned, the stretchier the goal the better – that way wherever I end up landing is way further than I would be if I’d aimed too low.

It’s like how I always leave the bottom ¼ of a cup of coffee or tea – no matter the size of the cup. I’m the same with goals. If I aim high I’ll tend to get most of the way there, whereas if I am low, I’ll tend to get most of the way there. Same same but a very different result.

Word of the year

Further, I need a focus point. Something that’s front and centre that reminds me every day why I’m doing what I’m doing. Over the last few years, I’ve had a word of the year to help me do that:

2017 Adventure

2016 Awesome

2015 Fearless

This year? I faffed about with SIMPLIFY and hubby suggested a phrase: What’s Important?

While both were great suggestions, it felt more like a way in which I’d approach my goals, but not necessarily words to guide me this year.

I thought long and hard about HEALTH. It really fit what I want to achieve this year:

  • Healthy body
  • Healthy mind
  • Healthy relationships
  • Healthy business

Then I decided that at the base of each of these four primary goals is one thing:

HEART

I’ll blog my wellness and creative goals separately, but at, sorry, the heart of each of my goals, will be this word. My priorities this year will be to do things and be with people that:

  • improve the health of my heart
  • lighten the load on my heart
  • heal my heart
  • contribute to the happiness of my heart
  • make my heart sing

Do you do a word of the year? If so, what is it?

 

Sentence a day: December

It feels weird writing about December when I should be writing about 2018, but, of course, one year needs to be finished off before another can begin, so without further ado, let’s wrap December up – a month that started with more rain than I ever thought was possible to fall in a short space of time and finished with sun, sea and tequila. December, you were memorable.

If you’re interested – which of course you are – my year in review can be found here.

1.Tried out the new Asian street food place – Rice Boi – down at the Wharf. I’m in dumpling heaven…

2. Friends for dinner and a Nigella disappointment – the Italian apple cake might look ok, but isn’t a great pudding option.

3. Sarah home from Sydney – yay!

4. Deluge – we have a new water feature in the backyard. Got a walk in before it all started.

5. Sun sneaking through, but another massive storm this afternoon. Managed to get a walk in early this morning though.

Amazing light before the storm (see the frangipanis in the main shot) and an impressive sunset after.

 

6. Did some writing at The Surf Club this morning and had partition work this arvo.

7. Fabulous walk around the Headland this morning instead of over it. The Marriage Equality Act finally passed parliament – Australia, it’s about time.

 

8. Lunch at Saltwater at the Wharf – prawn roll and the best chips ever.

Eumundi Christmas markets this afternoon – pissed down and hardly any stallholders there…pretty disappointing.

as seen in Eumundi

9. Brissie for bloggers lunch – so good to meet these wonderful ladies in real life. Made it home before the biggest most intense storm we’ve had yet. Queensland is teaching me a lot about rain.

10. Finally got the taxes done and sent down to the accountant in Sydney. Phew.

11. Back to work – do I have to?

12. Gorgeous morning for a walk – such a pity the office is calling.

13. Kali at home delivery doggy day spa and I caught up on astro bloggy stuff.

14. Late afternoon beach swim after work – the best way to finish a working week.

15. Haircut, colour, and time in the pool to undo all the time in the hairdresser’s chair. I’m not that girl who can swim without getting my hair wet – when I’m in, I’m under.

16. Catch up with friends at Alex Surf Club and bedlam in Mooloolaba thanks to the Christmas Boat Parade.

17. Pre Christmas barbecue with friends – the first time we’ve done the entertaining numbers thing in this house – and my lemon curd pavlova is a thing of beauty.

18. Morning walk. Slow on the work front – thankfully.

19. Walk, Work, pool, work, beach – a good balance.

20. Take yesterday and repeat.

21. Drinks at The Dock

and then a Canal Christmas lights cruise to celebrate the end of the working year – what a great night.

22. Disappointing, but not unexpected, news re hubby’s contract – the project is coming to an end. Fabulous news to be going into Christmas with…not.

23. Cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking.

24. The Nice Kiwis are here – yay! Lunch at Sum Yung Guys – as good as it always is.

25. Christmas Day – full of a flamboyance of flamingoes and lots of fun.

26. Boxing Day – pool, sun, and a visitor of the serpentine variety to the backyard. I think he’s harmless – he’s certainly very pretty.

Mixed up with tequila, margaritas, and cards against humanity – plenty of laughs.

27. Brekky at The Velo Project, more pool, more sun, and some more visitors – not of the snake variety, thank goodness!

28. Sight-seeing drive through the Hinterland – plenty of others with the same idea. Lunch at the Imperial Hotel in Eumundi.

29. Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island. It’s a hot one, but the breeze on the barge and a late afternoon swim cool us down.

Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island

30. Fantabulous 4WD bus tour of Fraser. Swimming at Lake Mackenzie and Eli Creek, picture stops at the Pinnacles and the wreck of the Maheno, and a walk through the valley at Central Station. (Keep an eye out for my post…)

31. New Years Eve. Sun, storms, bush tucker and dancing. Goodbye 2017 – you’ve certainly been an adventure…which was fortunate given that adventure was my word of the year!

Happy Ever After – Week 6

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to write a novel?  I’m in the process of writing a new novel and will be blogging my progress week by week here.

Ok, so the words are coming again. Having solved my plot problem and finished the second season of The Crown, I no longer had a valid excuse.

I’ve actually gone back and looked at the first few chapters again over the past week. I woke in the middle of the night the other day – something I do most nights – and realised two things:

  • I hadn’t given Kate any friends. She has an extensive family – and family is very much a theme of the novel – but if she’s lived in the same city for 50 years, she’d have friends.
  • I hadn’t given Kate a job – or even a daily purpose

Without either of these things, the story was always going to be single dimensional and overly introspective – both of which would mean the story was likely to be as boring as batshit and Kate about as likeable as that.

So I’ve gone back and started to flesh some of that out. I’ve mentioned before that I really start to hit the stride of a story in the second half? That means that the front part of my story usually requires a lot more re-writing. I’m covering some of that as well, but won’t be spending too much time on this – my aim is to get the first draft done as quickly as possible and then come back and flesh out the layers.

Am I on track to finish before Christmas? No. I think I’m going to need more words to tell this story…speaking of which, I’d better get back to the writing!

While I have your attention, thank you to everyone who has followed or supported my journey this year. I wish you and yours all the very best of everything for the season.

 

That’s a wrap – Sunday 10 December 2017

Monday before the rain

This week has brought with it deluges. Yes, I know that sounds exaggerated, but deluges we’ve had. Just when I thought that it wasn’t possible for rain to come down any heavier than we’d already seen it come down, Monday proved me wrong.

We had a waterfall in our backyard, and the pool lounge simply floated up and out of the overflowing pool.

Then just as we thought that was as heavy as we could get, down it came again last night. Again the pool overflowed, and the high water mark in the backyard was briefly a number of inches above the sodden ground.

In between was sunshine.

Now I love a good storm. Give me a bit of thunder and lightning and a downpour and I’m inspired. But this was damaging and low lying areas near us did suffer some flooding – including one of my favourite cafes in Mooloolaba, The Velo Project. Their Instagram account showed the water literally pouring in.

Anyways, enough about the weather…

What I’m loving…

The colours in our frangipani. Whether it’s against blue sky or grey, it’s striking.

A random sunset…

After a massive storm on Tuesday night. Striking, hey?

Where I worked…

While I always do my corporate work at home, I’m finding that I work much better on my personal writing projects away from the home office. Mooloolaba Surf Club is a favourite – as is Chances at Mooloolaba Wharf.

Where we lunched…

At Saltwater, one of the new offerings down at the revamped, re-energised Mooloolaba Wharf. What the developers are doing down here is fantabulous. Not only does this place have a really smart menu, the price point is very affordable ($10 for excellent fish and chips on a plate with a view), it’s licensed and the chips are amazing…really amazing. You know how sometimes the idea or the smell of chips is better than they taste? Not this time. All crunchy.

the view

Hubby had the fish and chips, Miss 19 had a couple of salmon cakes ($8 for two) that she said were better than mine – yes, I’m wounded – and I had the prawn sandwich ($10) which was essentially a prawn cocktail in a soft roll. I was in heaven.

What was disappointing…

Eumundi Christmas Markets on Friday night. We were all set to have a night of Christmas cheer and shopping with street food. Unfortunately, it not only pelted down with rain, but only a small proportion of the stall-holders set up. Very disappointing – and after we’d got the sort of carpark that you usually can only dream of getting.

What made my week…

Yesterday I caught up for lunch down in Brisbane with some ladies that I’ve known in the blogosphere for some time. Not only was it great meeting them in real life (IRL, as we say it) but it truly was like catching up with friends that I hadn’t seen in months. We all just clicked. Don’t you love it when that happens?

What I read…

I didn’t so much read as devoured Nicki Edward’s “One More Song.” It made me cry buckets in an absolutely good way, it took me to a part of Australia that I adore, and it told the story of characters that engaged me from the first few pages.

What I watched…

Miss 19, Adventure Spaniel and I had a movie afternoon today with Elf -one of our Christmas classics. It’s even better on the big screen…

I’m also beyond excited that The Crown Season 2 has landed, but I just know it’s going to play havoc with my word count. I can resist many things, but that isn’t one of them.

This is usually a political free zone but…

I restrain my personal political opinions here as much as I possibly can, but this week when the marriage equality bill passed, I was not only thrilled but relieved. It’s been an embarrassing fact that Australia has lagged behind other countries in legislating something that I personally believe we should not even still be debating in 2017. Love is love, and now it’s yes.

What I’m loving…

Just how over the top some people are with their Christmas decorations. There’s an entire street just down the road from us where every house (bar two….tutt tutt tutt…) is decorated to such an extent that the electricity grid must groan every night when the lights are turned on. Christmas seriously is the one time of the year when more is absolutely fabulously more.

How was your week?

Happy Ever After – the Week 5 Update

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to write a novel?  I’m in the process of writing a new novel and will be blogging my progress week by week here.  

I’m back into the manuscript. I still haven’t decided what it will be called, but given that I’m just shy of 60,000 words and on track to finish the first draft by Christmas, I’d probably better think about that. At the moment the working title is Happy Ever After.

When I’d first got the idea for this story, I described it to friends as being sort of like what happens after the happy ever after. The stuff they don’t tell us about. The curve balls that life throws us when we’re in our late forties, early fifties and the kids are almost off our hands. The things that happen when we should be coasting happily into, if not retirement, then at least something not as exhausting as what we’d spent the last twenty or so years doing.

I was going to write about the ageism in corporate life – and the bullying that goes on behind that. It was to be my revenge of sorts against the company my husband used to work for. I wrote all of that into the story and then deleted most of it – while I still have zero respect for them, we wouldn’t be living where we are now if they hadn’t done what they’d done. Once I’d let that go I was able to see what was going on around me and my characters began to take shape.

It started me thinking about everything else – how lives can change in a heartbeat right at that time when we’re thinking about coming down a gear. Divorce, health issues, death, ageing parents, adult children, loss of employment – all of that seems to hit at this age. Right at that point where we’re about to reap the rewards of the hard work and stress, whoever it is who rules the roost up there seems to decide that she has other plans for us – and life all of a sudden looks very different to the version that we’d envisaged.

That’s the premise of this story. Neil and Kate Spence fell in love when Kate was just eighteen after a chance meeting at a Midnight Oil gig that never happened. Then they fell out of love. In between were a few decades, two kids and a lifetime of memories.

Rather than the career that she’d envisaged – fighting the good fight for those who couldn’t fight it – Kate’s reality is one where playing happy families now includes Neil’s new (and very young) girlfriend, Vanessa. It’s not at all what Kate expected when she encouraged him in his quest to find himself by hiking to Everest Base Camp four years ago.

But when Neil finally asks for a divorce, secrets and longings that Kate thought she’d buried begin to surface. Can there be another chance for Kate and Neil, or has the universe got other plans for them?

Yes, the above reads a tad like a blurb – something I tend not to even contemplate until I’ve finished a book, but here I am writing it now. To put that into perspective, I haven’t even written the blurb yet for I Want You Back…and I need to.

The words stopped for a while – I wrote nothing for the week after I hit the 50,000 mark. That coincided with the wall that I’d seen approaching in the distance – a wall that was a pivotal scene that I knew that I had to write, but that I truly didn’t want to.

I’d got to know Neil and Kate and care about them. This scene would change everything – and it was the hardest thing I’d ever written…so far. In writing it, not only was I challenging myself, it almost felt as though I was tempting my own fate – ridiculous, I know, but since when does logic come into it? I cried buckets as I wrote it. I guess that’s a good thing.

Anyways, once I got that scene out of the way I was able to push through the wall and the story is again moving. I still have no idea how it’s going to end, but that’s all part of the fun.

My target is to hit 65,000 words by the end of this weekend. I’m on track for that. Watch this space.

That’s a Wrap – December 3, 2017

Monday morning on Mooloolaba Beach

It’s December already. How did that happen? It feels as though it was only yesterday that we were all full of high hopes for 2017 and now we’re singing the another year over song already.

Anyways, let’s wrap up the week…

What frustrated me…

Rain. So much of it. And most inconveniently, at the times that I’d normally walk. Yes, I have a gym membership for just those eventualities, but a treadmill has nowhere near the meditative qualities of a walk on or by the beach. Yes, I’m spoiled already.

I did, however, get out on Monday morning – and again on Monday evening.

What made me go awwww…

Baby scrub turkeys.

There are a few of them around at the moment. Aside from the fact that they are cute, the very existence of them is a marvellous one. Scrub turkeys are interesting in that they aren’t parented at all. The eggs are laid and incubated in a mound of what is essentially temperature-controlled compost. The father builds the mound, the mother lays the eggs, and that’s pretty much the end of their involvement in the process.

The chicks hatch, climb out of the mound and start scratching about for themselves and trying to avoid their father – who doesn’t recognise them as being baby scrub turkeys. They have about a 1 in 200 chance of making it through to adulthood, so seeing them out and about is heartening.

What made me happy…

me busy writing at Chances

Seeing Mooloolaba Wharf come back to life. This place used to be a hive of activity when we first started holidaying up here almost 20 years ago, then it went into decline. Now, thanks to a far-sighted developer, it’s on the way back. Chances on the wharf has become my favourite place to write and just this week two new eateries opened up – Rice Boi, which I’ve tried and is fabulous, and Saltwater, next on my list. There’s a new bar due to launch next week and already the place has movement again.

Lotus chips at Rice Boi

Avo smash – but not as you know it…

The new vegetarian cafe Two Point Oh at the Kontiki building in Maroochydore is doing an avo smash with a difference. On a bagel is beetroot puree, with one half of the bagel topped with avo slices, the other with smashed peas, and feta is crumbled over the lot. With rocket and lemon to complete it, it’s as pretty as a picture and tastes just as good.

Also new and on my list…

Raw + Rice the Sunshine Coast’s first poke (pronounced poke-ay) bar. It’s across the road from the Surf Club at Mooloolaba, next to Acai Brothers, and I’m keen to give it a try.

Sunshine Coast Daily headlines…

My favourite this week was:

“Are you a proud flasher? Coast police will crack down…”

A story about…wait for it… people who flash their headlights at other cars to warn them of speed traps.

A close second was:

“Snakes on the prowl…” Actually, this one was about snakes…on the prowl…for frogs.

What I wrote…

Not very much on the manuscript until Friday. Once I hit the 50,000 word mark I also reached the wall that I’d seen looming in the distance so I put it away while I got my head around writing the scene that was blocking me. I did that on Friday. It was tough.

What I blogged…

I popped up something about what I most enjoyed about the lead up to Christmas in the UK and the five things that mean Christmas in our house. I actually got some content up on the astro site after over a month off. I also posted something on the Sunny Coast site about Rice Boi – I mentioned that it was fabulous, didn’t I?

Finally, I organised all my writing posts on this site as well. If you click on the About Writing tab you’ll see everything nicely categorised in a dropdown menu. I’ve even popped some travel links in too from And Anyways. It’s starting to look the way I wanted it all to look.

What I missed…

That should read who I missed. Miss T has been in Sydney this week staying with my parents and catching up with friends. I’ve been sending her photos of Francesca the Macarena singing Christmas flamingo most days.

Ok, that was my week…how was yours?