Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baking Day

Although I am still struggling with my sore throat; today was Christmas Baking Day.

It was a very, very hot day and I struggled with the pastry today, even working with it straight from the fridge - it was so soft; but we had lots of fun and managed to make around ten dozen Christmas Mince pies.

Olivia joined Elizabeth, Sarah and I in our Christmas Baking

Sarah in her new glasses and Christmas Apron

Pastry rolling in the heat - a challenge

Yummy fudge and Christmas Mince pies

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Three - complete!

10am - 145 pages; 64 706 words and 29 days.

Despite a few days of true writer's block this morning I managed to finish Book Three - I am so happy. Now I can get this copy bound and hand it to my beautiful daughter Elizabeth who will be the first person to read it and let me know what she thinks.  I hope she is kind.

Three years and three novels - a trilogy - The Guild Chronicles.

Do you know I didn't have a clue how to write, or even if I could write; when I embarked on this journey. Now I am going to be a published writer next year.

Thank you everyone for your love and support.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Okay first of all to answer Darlene's question - NaNoWriMo - is National Novel Writing Month and is held every November - it is a non-profit organisation that encourages people to write. Check out this link 

This is now my 3rd year and I have just successfully submitted my novel for verification - (50 000 words +) in their word count verifier - that is all you have to do to win.

This year I am well over with over 60 000 words, but sadly no ending :(

I have put out a plea on Facebook - for help. I need an ending - so post a comment here and give me an ending - nevermind if you haven't read my book (or even book 1 & 2), just give me an idea; any idea for an ending - who knows it just might spark a really creative idea for me.

As not only do I have a sore throat and laryngits, but also writer's block - Grrr! 

So all help and ideas are welcome.

But, the good news is that "I am a Winner" and the novel will be finished. 
Thank you everyone for your support through another fun November.

Remember NaNoWriMo is open to everyone, so come and join me next November.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Do you know how many words that is?

An awful lot - it is the collective total of all NaNoWriMo writers in the world to date, for this year alone. I have contributed over 60 000 of those words.

I have laryngits and have spent the day in bed. I don't feel really well but have worked on my book for most of the day. At least I don't have to talk to write and so the story is now nearly finished.

Tomorrow the final battle and challenge begins, hopefully I will finish it before the end of the month. It is really close.

Thank you everyone for your support,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I have done it!

50 566 words

I have done it - three years in a row I have completed NaNoWriMo.

My novel is not complete yet, it is going to require another few, maybe as many as another 10 or so chapters, but the word count goal is completed.

What an experience.  I love the rush and the challenge. To sit down on November 1st and face 50 000 words and a blank word document and just 26 short days later, to have a 50 000+ novel is amazing.

I am grateful to all my family and friends for your support. Thank you today to my darling husband, who knowing that I just wanted to get close, told me to go and write.

So today after over 6700 words, I have achieved my goal. Book Three is nearly finished.

I am a writer and you know what?  I can write!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas and Kittens

 Cleo loves Christmas as much as the rest of us, in fact I am beginning to think it is going to be as exciting as having a young baby.  When my children were just crawling I would block their access to the tree, but with a kitten it is proving more difficult, although just as much fun.
 See Mummy - my claws and paws are hidden - I am just looking.
And if I can't see you - then maybe you won't see me.

She is so cute it is hard to stay mad at her and when I catch her and talk to her, she lies on her back and meows sorry, but then runs straight  back to play.

Oh well the joys of Christmas and Kittens

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today we started the magic of Christmas.

Sarah, Elizabeth and I spent the most wonderful morning putting up the Christmas Tree. Last week we had a family discussion about how magical our house is now feeling since we de-cluttered and renovated and part of me was reluctant to put up the decorations, because the house usually feels very cluttered.

So we made a decision to aim for a more streamlined decorating style - not sure we achieved that; but we did assess every decoration. Instead of putting it up and out because we own it, we put things up that felt right and perfect and the result is just wonderful.

Here are some photos:

Our tree

Light up my life

Feeling Christmassy

Girls just wanna have fun

Of course the Nutcrackers are ready and waiting

And when Ivan came home from work he put the Angel on top

We have a few special decorations that we do together

And the Boys have theirs

So with the Blessings of our Christmas Angel and the Spirit of Christmas - I wish you all a Joyful and Blessed Christmas Season

We have Rain

Arms open wide to accept the blessing of rain
 Sarah, Elizabeth and I were out at the shops when the heavens opened and the rain started.  We ran for the car, I locked it instead of opening it; so the alarm went off and we got soaked. It was so funny.  By the time we got home and got the groceries into the house - we were wetter than dry.
So Sarah decided to stay out and enjoy the rain.

This morning we still have a soft, soaking gentle rain. Thank you, it is just what the gardens ordered.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I remembered to play today

I had forgotten to play. Work has been the top priority for a while; renovating, writing a novel, preparing for Christmas and everything else has been really serious.

After a gentle reminder (Thank you Michelle) I decided it was time to play.
So I phoned Ivan and work and told him I was picking up Pizza and we would meet him at the river - Colleges Crossing (which is on his way home from work and only 10 minutes from us) for a picnic.

We sat in the windy cool breeze and then we skipped stones, well threw rocks would be more appropriate. Ivan held the record with over 10 skips; Matt was next with at least 5 and I managed a respectable 3 - the girls well - watch out!  I feel refreshed and revivied.

Here are some photos:

 Daddy arrived after us, so the kids went to meet him
Tired but relaxed

Matthew with the action

If it won't skip - it will splash

Here goes, my turn!

READY . . .



Forty-five minutes of refreshing Spirit-reviving fun.

This is my beautiful 'Renovated' Home

Sorry that I 'forgot' to post the photos of my finished renovations - oops - I think that I was so relieved it was done that I just forgot!

So here they are - all 'Oohs and Aahs' welcome in the comments section :)

Standing at the front door looking into the lounge

Standing looking toward the front door

Looking into the dining room, from the lounge

Looking into study from the lounge

Looking into the dining room from the kitchen

And my bedroom - from the door

And the view from my bed
It is so difficult to photograph a room - thank you Mum for the use of your camera and wide-angle lens - otherwise even these photos would not be possible.

I love my new home.

Only 32 Days to Christmas

This year I am struggling to get into the Christmas Spirit - very, very unusual for me.

Working so hard on the renovations, getting everything ready for Ivan's return from his trip, writing my book and all other things have stepped in the way and I am FRUSTRATED!

I love Christmas, I love the preparation, the decorations, the shopping, the baking and everything else; but I can't seem to connect this year.

So, this morning I put on a Christmas CD (Celtic Woman - lovely)  and I sorted out my Christmas purchases - Hmm need to do a little extra shopping for one or two special people. Sang along to the music and got in the groove.

I am also going to get out the decorations today - bring them up from the garage, so tomorrow on a full day at home, I can begin to transform my house into a magical Christmas Wonderland.

Look out for some photos.

How are your Christmas preparations going?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Great Birthday

Happy Birthday Mum - I love both you and Dad so much
 Today for Mum's birthday her and Dad took us to a lovely restaurant in Toowoomba about an hour's drive away - I drove so Mum and Dad could relax.

The restaurant was called the Stone Grill and serves up the most amazing meals.  The stone platters are heated up to 400 degrees and your steak, chicken or fish arrives on it raw. You then slice up pieces and cook it to your own desired taste - oh my goodness what a treat!  I haven't had such a beautiful meal in ages and I know that I will not need to eat for another month.
My food cooking in front of me.

Sarah wanted the dessert - it was a 'Chocolate Strawberry Tower'
 The strawberries were placed on a spike and covered with chocolate sauce, with a jug of spare sauce - needless to say she was in heaven.  Elizabeth had divine chocolate mousse and I had chocolate baskets with ice-cream and berry compote - Just YUM!
 I had to add this last photo for everyone, Elizabeth has not eaten much meat for ages - but decided to try Mum's steak - I love the look on Mum's face - wonder what she is thinking?  My caption is:

Hope she doesn't like this too much?
Happy Birthday Mum - have a wonderful year.

Birthday Celebrations

November 16th & 17th are very special days in our house.
First Ivan celebrates his birthday on the 16th and then Mum celebrates hers on the 17th - so it is a double treat.

Yesterday Ivan came home from his 4 week trip - very tired, but glad to be home.

For those who have been following the renovations - his reaction was HOLY S**T!  (repeated a number of times as he took in the work we had done).  It was wonderful - even this morning when he woke up he was still talking about how beautiful it all looks.  So the effort, work and secret was worth it all.

We also decided to decorate the front of the hosue for Ivan for his birthday - so often he is away and to have him come home on the day was special.  So here are a couple of family photos.

I think he is loved!

Happy Birthday love, stay awake for another few minutes!
A very tired and jet-lagged Ivan enjoyed his presents with the family and a piece of cake and then it was an early night. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing Update

Thirty-four chapters - 31 683 words and 14 days of writing.

My characters are alive and well - they are thriving and living inside my head.  It is such a good thing that Ivan has been away for these first 14 days of November, as I know that I would have driven him crazy popping on the light in the middle of the night to write down another idea/plot/character. He is coming home on Wednesday at last after a month away, so I am really happy, may need to take a couple of days off from writing - or maybe not? I know he will understand the obsession!

The only problem that has arisen is that Book Three is so much stronger than Book One. I knew that Book Two was stronger than Book One, but I think that Book Three will be even stronger, maybe not better, but stronger and more powerful.

So . . . that is going to mean some rewriting and re-editing. Hmm - more work.  I need to leave it alone however, until this one is finished. I almost want to publish Book Three first, but that wouldn't make much sense, so it will be onto some serious editing and re-writing as soon as this one is finished.  

I have also discoverd I am becoming a true novelist, as I now have character lists, plot lists, place lists, name meanings, maps, songs, story-lines etc. all on different documents on my computer and in my notebook. It was so simple and easy in the beginning, but three books later, I need to keep checking up that I have not repeated myself, corrected myself or just plain 'stuffed it up.'

So with 16 days to go, and under 20 000 words minimum to write; Book Three is well on the way - I love being a writer, I love reading and I love writing. What a way to live!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In response to a request

Michelle, this is for you; a teaser from my current writings. I had started this chapter and realised it was going nowhere, so set it aside for a night and then came back to write it. So here it is:

This is Chapter Nineteen of the third book of The Guild Chronicles - I am not sure it will make sense out of context, but hopefully it will inspire you to read the rest of the book when it is finally finished and published.

Chapter Nineteen

My name is Judith Dallamoor and I am 16 years old. I am gifted – I can create things and my Father is going to destroy me.

The opening lines of Judith’s journal sent shivers down my spine. I began typing, pouring the purified Ether into her words. Looking up, to a startled sound; I saw her standing in front of us; a beautiful young woman – her face peaceful and yet filled with pain and sorrow.

“Hello Mother.” She smiled at Marta, who reached for her. “No, you cannot touch me; remember that is one of the rules. I am sorry that I stopped visiting you; but he found out and he had his people watching the Sanctuary. I had to keep Arianna a secret.”

“Judith, is that really you? But, I don’t understand. I buried you, I saw your body. How? I mean, I know that you are not with us now, but you said that you have been visiting Marta – I just don’t understand.” Edward stammered.

“It is okay Father, all will be revealed.”

Edward Dallamoor slipped to the ground, his face ashen. “Father, you called me Father?”

“I have known since the day you came to bring me home to this place, that you were my Father. I wish I had known in life that you were mine. I always loved you, felt that we belonged together, but ‘He’ held us all in his power; we were all helpless.” Judith smiled at Edward.

“Now I must tell you my story. Make yourselves comfortable.” She waited as we all settled down on the ground. I realised that I was not longer typing; Judith had taken over and her power and control had brought her here to us.

“Larron held us all in his power. He did not have the power of creation or control of the Ether, but rather something far more evil. He held the power of destruction and punishment; he recognised what I had within me and his research over the years, allowed him to manipulate and train me. At first I found it so exciting; I made him happy and he showered me with love and attention. I knew that his disappointment that I wasn’t a son could be overcome if I created things for him.  I wanted his love and his approval. I wanted him to tell the world that he was proud of me.

He kept me a secret however, I was forbidden to create for anyone but him. And then, it began. The punishment for creating only beauty; I hated being forced to create ugliness, hatred, manipulation. He had me study the stock market sheets and create paths of success for some companies, while creating crash and disaster for others. He gloated over competitors whose lives were destroyed and even shared with me the glee that he felt when his greatest rival, shot himself rather than face ruin.”

Judith shuddered and shimmered, fading in and out of existence with the emotion she was experiencing. We could feel the sorrow and the pain; we too existed within her world.

“Father, sorry Larron, pushed me hard. Some days I would bleed with the pain of it. Using the power of creation for destruction takes its toll. For every action in the Ether you experience the physical reaction. I became anaemic, lost my appetite and stopped sleeping; my dreams when I did fall asleep, were full of condemnation. The visitors from the dead, the damaged – all calling my name, all cursing me, all begging for redemption.  I tried to fight him. I stopped creating. He threatened to kill me. I told him it no longer mattered. And then he threatened to kill you Mama. He said I would do his bidding or you would suffer.  I had no choice then; I couldn’t let him harm you. I had to leave.

Yes, I used my powers to create an illusion – I created the Judith you buried. Uncle Edward, sorry Father, you were right, you did bury me. But, it wasn’t the real me; it was my illusion. I was however, bound into the illusion, gone from the real world, yet still here. I had not realised that the power of creating a replica of oneself would take part of my soul and bind it to the replica. Judith Dallamoor died that day, she swam out to sea. I floated with her on the waves, peaceful and serene. I floated and waited; we did not sink, we did not swim, we did not die; we just waited. Finally, the tide washed us back to shore and we waited. You found us Father; I watched your grief, I heard your words and I felt your tears wash my face, wash away the salt water of the sea and replace it with the salt water of your wounds. I knew then that you were my Father and that Larron Dallamoor was the imposter, the cruel monster who had control of our lives. You buried me, here under this tree, but you kept me alive with your love. I have sat by your side in the garden, watched you tear out the daisy bushes with your bare hands and watch them bleed as you ripped them to pieces.

Mother, he won. He won when he brought Este to stay. I tried to help her, to warn her, but I was so weakened I couldn’t protect her. My action to save you and to save myself meant that she was sacrificed. He bound her with love and admiration, he used her. He had learnt well from me; his failure. This time he didn’t force her to do anything; instead he isolated her from all who loved her. He became her world.

Justin, he isolated her from you as well. Every action that you performed he highlighted your anger, your envy and used them against her. Yet, while doing so he also isolated you from her. By taking you into his service, he could control you both. And then the only thing left to do was to get rid of your parents. His Destructors created the car crash that killed them both. Larron Dallamoor is evil, nothing but pure evil.”

The sadness and tears overwhelmed me; I leant into the ground and cried; I cried for my missing friend, cried for Judith and for Edward and Marta. I knew that wonderful holiday of Este’s taken all those years ago had been the beginning of her ruin. I was not sure if we could save her, but I knew now what had happened. I knew from the depths of my soul, the manipulation that she had endured and suffered. My isolation at school had been difficult, but hers had been worse, because she had suffered it in joy and reward; false happiness had been created for her. His praise and love, handed out to her in compensation, reward for her success, not given freely and without a price. Este I am so sorry. I cried.

Sarah, don’t cry for me. I am free of him as well now. Judith has freed me. I have listened to her story as well. I remember. I am coming home.

Judith smiled at us all. “Yes, Sarah, she remembers. She has felt and heard your grief and your love. She is on her way home.

There is more that you need to know. There is another; a gifted one – she has named herself Arianna. Be careful of her. She is but a child, and powerful with the richness of song – she can easily be influenced as she is wilful, without the boundaries of mortality. Arianna is my child. Born of the Ether and born of the realm of Creation. I was lonely, isolated half-way between worlds and I sought to create love. I succeeded but the price I paid was to move further away from you all.  Mother you were right – we did visit you. No you are not crazy – you never were. You just needed time to deal with your loss and your grief; but it is now time to take up the fight with the others. You can no longer hide. I heard your words last night to Larron, I am so proud of you. Edward needs you Mother, Arianna will need you.

Sarah, you will need to birth Arianna into full creation. Beware! Larron Dallamoor will seek to control her. Without you, she will join the Destructors and her powers will be all that he needs to take over our world. Lucas, you will need to support Sarah. Arianna will love you both; she will be the child of love, if you right the wrongs of the past.

For too long there has been a power imbalance. For too long The Creators have ruled all and decided all. It is time for change. Melissa, you are part of the old; but I sense in you a chance for change. I sense that you can begin anew with these young people. Stand up for equality, stand up for balance. Find the change within and invite the outsiders to join the table. Creation is not only the gift of the writers; creation is the gift of all – the gift of the artist within us all. The gift of our Creator, nurture that gift in each of us and our world will survive. Destroy it with rules and designations of selection and our world will die. The choice is yours.”

Judith had finished, she smiled at us – reached out of the Ether and touched her Mother and Father. They reached up and embraced her; the sun’s fading glow lit them all up in gold and shimmers of Ether. We could see her absorbing their love and returning it a hundred-fold. Then slowly she began to fade, slipping slowly towards the ground. Her grave stone changed from white to red, a single red rose appeared next to her name and the date of her death shifted once more. The date was today. Judith had come home to rest; she was no longer lost. She was at peace.

Nothing Has to be Done!

I woke up this morning and realised that I don't HAVE to do  anything!

I am not sure when last I woke up and realised that I don't have to do a single thing; I didn't even have to get out of bed, as Mom was taking Matt to work.

I read, dozed and then finally slept and at 10.30am woke up refreshed and still thought "I don't have to do anything" - there are quite a few  things that I could do if I wanted. A few that might even be as important as 'should' do, but none that I have to do.

I feel rejuvinated for that reason - completely rejuvinated and refreshed. 

So today I am not going to do a single thing that I should or could do and may not even do anything that I want to do, I might just BE! I might just exist in the moment and live.

How wonderful!

Friday, November 11, 2011

25 248 Words

Half-way there!  Nineteen chapters and halfway to my 50 000 word goal for book three.  Last night I wrote 800 words and I hated them - the first time ever - they felt forced and wrong. Still I walked away and left them.  This morning, I cut and pasted them to a separate document and began again.

So glad I did - it is just wonderful - a powerful chapter, that says what it should.

Can't wait to see how this ends and get some feedback from someone. I hope it turns out as well as I think it has.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo Novel Word Count

I have passed the 20 000 word count level - that means I am nearly half way to my goal of 50 000 words - I think this book however, is going to be a little longer than that.

The characters are going well, the plot line beginng to fall into place, now I just have to bring them all together - hmm how to do that?

There are twists and turns that I didn't expect beginning to appear. Also am having trouble trying to stay focussed on one timeline and character group. Oh well, may have to write another series written from another perspective.  That is for next year's challenge - at the moment I just have to bring this one together. 

Wish me luck,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thank you to all

Thank you to everyone for your support, interest and comments over the last 2 weeks as I have progressed throught the renovations. I hoped you have enjoyed the photos - as I get the furniture back in place and the photos hung, I will post a few more pictures.

A very big thank you to Elizabeth my apprentice, my helper and my beautiful girl - without your daily help I would not have been able to complete even half of what I did. We achieved miracles together and you deserve a good rest now.

To my Sarah, who has become the washer upper, the cleaner, the drink and food provider and the general dogsbody, I really appreciate all your efforts - you had the least glamorous chore, but the one that allowed us all to achieve what we did.

To Matthew, for helping move big furniture and heavy stuff, and getting on with your assignments and getting better without much help from Mom - thank you.

To my Mom,  Thank you for becoming the driver for all appointments, the driver to & from school (gave me at least 2 hours extra per day), the shopper, the encourager and the wonderful person who did my ironing today - I love you

And now Thank you to my Dad - sometimes Dad I forget that I am nearly 50 and more importantly I forget that you are 73 - your stamina, energy and drive are more than most 20 year olds.  Thank you for your skills, for your patience, for your hard work and for teaching me; teaching me that I can do anything. Showing me that I can learn and achieve the most amazing things in life.  I love you Daddy, you are incredible.  And now you can go back to your carving - I will try not ask you to do anything more around the house - for a while at least. :)

Renovations are complete - the floorboards are laid; the walls are painted and the house is decluttered (well it will be in the next few days) - it is now time to focus on writing my novel and begin preparing for Christmas.

The renovations are complete - this stage at least!

Today we finished it!

Despite Elizbeth being really unwell with a sore throat, and my energy leves way down - we pushed on and finished all the painting.  And then we put all the big furniture back in place. So here are some morning/evening photos.

8.12am - the ceiling needs painting, the curtain rail needs to be hung and the border repainted.

6.30pm - room back together - well almost - a happy cat asleep on my bed again.

8am the lounge with my bed and furniture all in it

The entrance all - all a mess this morning.

6.30pm - my lounge back in place - no picutres on the wall yet . .

But looking really good so far.
It has a very long 16 days of hardword - but the results are wonderful - I am so happy with the changes we have made. The house feels rejuvinated, blessed and healthy.