Monday, August 27, 2007


It's been a rough few weeks, with too much work and not enough good stuff. However, rather than complaining (again) about that, I'll just mention in passing that the winter is coming to an end, we've had two gorgeous spring-weather days after a week of desperately-needed rain, the wattles are coming out in flower, blossoms in town are blooming, the willows down by Burying Ground Creek have a sheen of green, there's a gorgeous magnolia out on my way to work, the blue wrens are busy flitting around outside the kitchen window, and there are a fair few wallabies, wallaroos, and kangaroos down in our bottom paddock.

So, my life's definitely got some simple joys in it. :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I had great time at the RWAustralia conference in Sydney at the weekend - it was wonderful to catch up with people, and there was the extra bonus of having my mother and sister each spend some time in Sydney with me. (Mum would have been there longer, but unfortunately had to go home after one night as Dad was ill.)

Highlights were the awards dinner, and some quiet time catching up with my friend Jennie Adams - over a plate of 'High Tea' cakes in the hotel restaurant :-) - and seeing my friend Mel Scott win the well-deserved (and very prestigious!) Emerald Award.

I got home late on Sunday afternoon, collapsed in a heap of exhaustion with a book, went to bed, and then returned to the madness that is my day job on Monday morning.

I know I've been overdoing things lately, and it's really hit me this week, with a perpetual migraine keeping me company, and constant fatigue. The day job is insanely busy, and since returning from Dallas, I have only had one weekend where I've been able to spend most of it at home.

So, I'm looking forward to this weekend. I don't have anything I have to do on either day, and if I'm really lucky I won't even go into town. And then next week, my job reverts to half-time hours - the pressure will still be on, as the work doesn't go away, but I'll have two extra days at home each week. I have some consulting work to do next month, and some marking work for the uni, but at least I don't have to drag myself in for a full-on, brain-draining day at the office every day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Version 2,987....

I'm supposed to be sending out my book to the two agents and two editors who have requested it. One wanted a long synopsis - but did I have a long synopsis? Nope. I can write a decent short synopsis, but the long synopsis has proved a challenge.

However, it's almost done now - only the last couple of paragraphs to do, the ones which summarise the resolution of the book and the final scene.

Yep, the final scene. The one I'm still not happy with, despite having done multiple versions of it, and having submitted the book to contests and done well. I'm not really up to version 2,987, but it feels like it. The only other scene I had this much trouble with in the book was the love scene.

I worked on the scene again last night, and I'm feeling a bit happier with the revised approach; I think it better captures the tone of the book, and will be optimistic and positive without glossing over or belittling the real challenges still ahead for the characters, and the drama they have experienced. It needs to be quite tight, word-count and pacing-wise, it needs to be realistic, but it also needs to have enough in it to assure the reader that these two people will be able to make their relationship a long and joyful one.

Last scenes in romances are definitely a challenge. Often, when reading books, I'm left with a slight sense of dissatisfaction - either it's too rushed, or not enough answered, or the character growth isn't convincing, or the scene has slipped into a standard proposal of marriage and declaration of love, while losing a sense of who the characters have been for the previous few hundred pages.

Nope, it's definitely not easy. I'm hoping to finish this one off tonight, so that I can then print off and parcel up the various packages for the people who have requested them. I'm leaving for the RWAus conference on Thursday, so I want it all sent off by then.

Of course, agonising about this scene has reminded me of a great last scene in a romance that I've read - one that was perfect, absolutely right for the characters and the story, with a wonderful twist right at the end. Which book? Kelly Hunter's Priceless. An absolute gem of a story, brilliant right the way through, and the ending is... priceless :-)

So, any recommendations of other wonderful endings??