Sunday, August 26, 2007

A busy week ahead

Hello everyone,
I have a busy week ahead as we leave in the middle of next week for Italy. I hope to be able to blog as I go but it depends on time and availability of internet cafes. I think I need a Blackberry or one of those new Samsung phones called a Blackjack. You can do just about everything on them. My elderly father is house-sitting while we are away so I am sure Polly and Pippi and Mango will keep him entertained. Spring blossum is everywhere and I feel a little sad I will miss the flowering of my two gorgeous tree peonies in the front garden. The blooms are spectacular, they are the single variety and therefore only last a week or two, even less if it is windy.
I had the State swimming championships this past weekend and I did really well considering I am nursing a shoulder problem. I placed in every event but one and I brought home a couple of relays which is always a great feeling. I am seeing a shoulder specialist in October to see if I need to have surgery or just cut back my swimming. I'm not too keen on either option as you can imagine!
Anyway, I have 10,000 words to write before I leave so I had better get down to it.
Cheers to all,
Melanie x

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Hi everyone,
I am getting excited about going to Italy in a couple of weeks and finding it hard to settle. It annoys me as I have so much to do before I go but I don't feel like doing it. I have this way of coping however which I learned a long time ago-it is called acting your way into feeling. I practised it before I was published, making myself think like an author and acting like one in that I wrote each day and did research and stuff. It is a great technique if you are angry with someone like your partner or one of your children! You just act as if you still love them( even though at the time you're not so sure you do!) and it works every time. I guess it's a bit like cognitive behaviour therapy. I find self talk very helpful, especially during tough times. I am nursing a suspect shoulder at the moment, it could be a rotator cuff injury which is not good news for someone who swims 20kms a week but I am trying to be positive. There's always the gym, right? Maybe I'll become a gym bunny after all. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Wouldn't you know it I have State championships this weekend so whether I compete or not will be up to my physio's opinion. We take our bodies for granted, don't we?
Wish me luck!
All the best,
Melanie x

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back from the Conference

Hi everyone,
I had such a wonderful time at the Sydney conference. It was super fun catching up with everyone both published and unpublished. We had a great Venetian Carnavale theme for the cocktail party which was a lot of fun. I had a great time chatting to some unpublished authors on how to pith a novel to an editor. So many had wonderful story ideas but they were hidden behind layers of backstory and unnecessary information. I am thinking about doing a workshop on it next year as it is really amazing how the writers started to unlock their stories once they began brainstorming with each other. I have a book launch this week and a lot of training for the Winter Swimming Championships so it's going to be full on as usual!
The daffodils are popping up everywhere and the sun is shining so I'm off to take my girls for their walk. Polly really misses me when I'm away so I have to make it up to her with lots of attention.
Speaking of attention as I dashed out of the hotel to do a few mintues of shopping I stopped to talk to a young homeless man who was sitting on the corner of a busy intersection. I crouched down and asked him why he lived on the streets. It was so sad as he said he had no family, he didn't go into details over whether they had died or deserted him but I felt sad for him, he was much the same age as my boys. I read a report recently that said that up to 80% of Sydney's homeless people are suffering from a mental illness. I gave him some money but what I think is more important than dropping coins into a hat is to bend down and look these young people in the eye and express your concern that they have fallen on such hard times, even if in some cases it is self inflicted through drug use or alcohol. People are people and they each deserve to be treated with respect. I may never meet that young man again but I hope he remembers me as the one who took the time to talk to him and wish him well. Having someone, even if it is a perfect stranger express hope and belief in you is important. I went away and did my shopping but the whole time I thought about him, and who his mother was and whether she missed him.
Hug your children this week, no matter how difficult they might be.
Love Melanie xx

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Off to Sydney!

Hi everyone,
I am sorry I am doing this three days late but this week is racing away. It is the Australian National Romance Writers'Conference this weekend so I am madly organising everything I need to take.
I mentioned last week that my swimming friend was attempting to be the first Tasmanian woman to swim the English Channel-well she did it! She did it in ten hours, three hours less than she predicted. I am so proud of her. She has raised close to $400.000 for the Children's Cancer Institute so what a legend she is. My paltry 3 km this morning seemed very tame in comparison!
I am doing some mentoring for some unpublished writers which I am enjoying immensely. It reminds me of how difficult is to to craft a really believable and heart-wrenching story. No wonder I feel exhausted after I finish each one! I have started the Harlequin Mills and Boon Centenary Anthology novella which I am enjoying. The characters are keeping me awake at night already and I'm only up to Chapter Two!
Have a great week and I'll be back with news of the conference.

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