Writer’s Digest – September 11, 2023

I’m back home after spending a lovely week with my daughter up in Torquay, Hervey Bay, a few hours north of us. As well as being a lovely place to visit, at this time of the year it’s whale watching season – Hervey Bay is known as being the best place in Australia (some say the world) to watch whales. It’s even been heritage-listed. If you’re interested, I’ve written more about it here.

Anyways, I didn’t get to go out on this trip – on the days I was day-job-free the winds weren’t great – but it was still a lovely week.

Saturday morning we took an impromptu mini road trip up to Woodgate Beach via Childers.

Childers is one of those towns that’s chock-full of history, with many of the colonial buildings preserved – so much so it has a national trust listing.

Like many of the towns up here, it was originally all about the sugar cane, although these days macadamia and avocado also figure highly from an agricultural viewpoint.

They also have a fabulous bakery – and everyone knows a road trip (even a mini road trip) isn’t really a road trip without a pie or a sausage roll – with their sausage rolls ranking almost as highly as the ones from the Tumbarumba bakery (which are the absolute best … so far …).

Woodgate Beach, about 40 km east of Childers, is a hidden paradise. Protected by K’gari (Fraser Island) to the east, the beach is long and protected, and on the day we were there, it felt as though we were the only people on the beach.

We even managed a family selfie – something quite rare for us.

On the way home we stopped for a “famous” Mammino ice cream. The little outlet is located in the clubhouse at the Childers Golf Club. We sat outside at the 10th hole and watched the fully laden cane train go by (the canefields provide quite the hazard off to the left).

Back in Torquay, a perfect family day was topped off with dinner and drinks at the Crafty Cargo and a game of mini golf. I started strongly but faded fast and ended up at the bottom of the pack. C’est la vie.

Before we left the next morning Sarah and her housemate cooked up a massive breakfast spread – smashed avo, bacon, eggs, pancakes, and an amazing apple compote. It’s actually the first time she’s ever cooked for us, so was pretty special.

In writing news I’m on target with my word count – but only just – and the first Whale Bay mystery is well on the way. At this point I’m thinking of calling it Murder at Rose Cottage, but I haven’t quite decided.

I spent a fair amount of time down the Instagram rabbit hole looking at beach shacks for inspiration and came up with this one that really fits my vision of Rose’s cottage. Cute, isn’t it?

I’d also set myself other targets last week:

  • Write the blurb for It’s In The Stars
  • Send It’s In The Stars and Christmas at Mannus Ridge away for formatting
  • Send a brief to the cover designer for Christmas at Mannus Ridge

While I didn’t write the blurb for It’s In The Stars (that’s now on the list for this week), I did place ticks in the other boxes and write a blurb for Philly Barker Is On The Case:

When Chipwell antique dealer Philomena Barker is asked by Detective Inspector Robbie Dawkins to assist with identifying some stolen antiques, she’s only too happy to help.

It’s not long before Philly and Robbie identify a pattern – someone is breaking into the homes of elderly farmers in North Yorkshire and stealing their treasured antiques.  

The investigation takes a deadly turn when their prime suspect is murdered, and Philly and Robbie will need all the help they can get if they’re to solve this puzzle.

With Robbie due to retire this case will be his last; but with the murderer one step ahead can Philly solve the case before it’s also her last?

This week is a big one in the day job with the office relocation I’ve been planning all year due to happen on Friday so I’ll be in Brissie for a few days leading up to that.

Despite that, my goals are:

  • To add another 11,000 words to the Whale Bay book
  • Write a blurb for It’s In The Stars

I’ll keep you posted…

Until next week…