Finding your writing tribe!

Its two days until the Romance Writers Australia (RWA) annual conference, can you tell I am excited???

Spoiler alert: I am!

Last year I attended my first RWA conference, and it was an eye opener. It was full of fantastic craft workshops, great networking events and more importantly, I found my tribe.

I have read countless articles about the importance of finding your tribe, and like many other people, I paid it off. I am at heart an introvert, the last thing I ever want to do is mingle with strangers, but I can honestly say that it was worth it. A writer’s conference is probably the only type of event, where introverts surround you and everyone wants to discuss their favourite books or what they are writing.

If you haven’t worked up the courage yet to attend one, even for a day. Be brave. Take the plunge.  It’s worth it!

Books, podcasts, tv shows … oh my!

A little late, but I have had a whirlwind couple of months. Here are my July recommendations!

Audiobook: I have recently rediscovered my love of audiobooks. There is something magical about listening to a story; I think that as a reader, you pick up so many different nuances and emphasis from the narrator. It does help when the narrator is the author himself. This month I loved re-listening to Stardust by Neil Gaiman. If you love stories about mythical lands, hero quests with a bit of a love story; this is the audiobook for you. And, in my ever humble opinion, Neil Gaiman’s voice is divine and lyrical and is a must to listen to!

Book: Well, it has been on by TBR pile since it was released, and it was my turn to pick a book for my local book club. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I picked this as most of my book club dosen’t read romances, and I thought this was a good introduction. Everyone loved it and thought it was cute! If you want to read a gender twist on the story of Pretty Woman with a great three dimensional female lead, than I highly recommend reading it.

Movie: Always be my maybe (Netflix). If you haven’t watched this fabulous rom com with the greatest ever Keanu Reeves appearance, you have been living under a rock. Watch It! The memes are with it.

Podcast: Chernobyl. I listened to this podcast before I saw the series – to be honest it is on my to watch list – which is getting bigger and bigger, thank you Stranger Things. The podcast is a great companion to the series, it explains how they merged people, why they chose specific accents and the science behind the explosion.

What have you been watching, reading or listening to???

Any recommendations you would like to share?

Creative dates

I first came across this term listening to the often hilarious ‘So you want to be a writer ?’ podcast and was totally intrigued by the concept of going on solo dates in order to refuel and expose myself to different types of creativity.

In true me form, I first heard the term two years ago, and it has only taken me until this month, to start to implement it. 

Sometimes life gets in the way.

This month, I managed to go on three creative dates, the first two solo, the third with a plus one (who may not have appreciated it as much as I did).

Were the solo dates awkward? Hell no. Although that may be the introvert in me coming out.

 As part of my journey to embrace all creativity and experiences, I went and saw a documentary about spiders, spider sex and Neil Gaiman (not necessarily in that order), a tour of a destitute asylum in Adelaide and a murder and mayhem tour of Adelaide.

One of the older buildings in Adelaide, located on the old grounds of the destitute asylum

For such a quiet city, known affectionately as the city of churches, it has some interesting figures and murders. The latter two dates may have been fuelled by my true crime obsession. Mmmm.

Street art during the Murder and mayhem tour of Adelaide, HIndley st.

Next up I have a tour of cemetery, a live podcast and a theatre production.

At the very least I wont be bored. 

Do you go on creative dates? Or do you have different ways of being inspired?

Books, podcasts, tv shows … oh my!

Welcome to my monthly recommendations, the aim of this post is to let you know about my latest obsessions and what I have been reading, watching or listening to.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Books. Ok, this month I have two recommendations, my non-fiction recommendation is Deep Work by Cal Newport. As I indicated in an earlier post, 2019 is about being organised. Its not a sexy word, but if I want to pursue writing, juggle full time work and have some semblance of a social life, I need to be brutal with my time and how I use it. I have limited my social media use during the day (I don’t actually want to delete the accounts), I also turn off Wi-Fi when I am writing so I don’t get distracted by shiny objects or research points. I think its working, I am halfway through the month and I have already reached over 60% of my monthly word count. 

The second book is Manifest Recall by Alan Baxter; it’s a supernatural novella that tells the story through a Mafioso type hitman and his search for redemption. Not for the faint hearted, it has blood, guts and gore. 

TV shows: I have rekindled my serial killer/true crime obsession and have been binge watching all things Ted Bundy related on Netflix. This includes Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile (with Zac Efron playing Bundy) and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. These are both really fascinating and remind me that the Scooby gang were correct, humans are always the monsters. 

Documentary: Sixteen Legsa documentary about huge ass spiders (the size of dinner plates) that live in the majestic underground cave systems of Tasmania, Australia. I mean, it features Neil Gaiman and has spider sex. What more could you want?

Podcast: The Dropout (ABC radio). I have just finished binge listening to the inane life of Elizabeth Holmes and her visionary company Theranos. A story about romance, ambition and hubris. Wow. 

Music: I currently have Something wicked this way comes by James Warburton and Diana Haunts on repeat. Go listen to it!

That’s about it for now, do you have any recommendations?

I’m back…I think

I’ve been kinda distracted for the last six weeks. Going away for work will do that to a person, unfortunately I barely had enough time to sleep let alone write. But I’m ok with that (well maybe without the sleep depravation), I think I needed the time away.

The pockets of spare moments I had allowed me to focus on my characters and what was going to happen next. And, now I’m super excited!

And I can’t wait to introduce you to some of the other voices in my head… Khalida has quickly become one of my favs.

Red Sand, open land… desert dreaming

Some times work can be fun!

Last week I found myself traversing across the red deserts of South Australia. There are not enough words to explain the beauty of the Outback. I know, a funny thing for an inspiring writer to put down in text. I have always been fascinated by deserts, there is a beauty to the desolation and the loneliness, and here in South Australia, it isn’t quite bare. There are pockets of greenery everywhere, some more brown than others but it all acts as a reminder that life will continue to grow even in the harshest climate. h

I even had some time to write, I found a great writing corner in my underground hotel.

Here I am embracing the red desert and Cobber Pedy, the Opal mining capital of Australia. It was one of those tourist photos I couldn’t resist taking!

Welcome to my little corner of the world.

Hi… I promise I don’t bite.

I have decided to do a getting to know me blog post.

During the day I work in an open plan office dreaming of other worlds and by night I listen to the voices in my head as they let me write their stories.

  • I live in Australia – hence the weird spelling variations.
  • I enjoy going on hikes and scuba diving.
  • I love reading, I devour the classics, science fiction, horror and romance and everything in-between.
  • Romance books have always held a special place in my heart… generally, I look for kickass heroines and to die for heroes with lots of action.
  • I watch anime and collect comics – sometimes I think I am trapped in the body of a fifteen-year-old boy.
  • I have always dreamed about being a writer – unfortunately, I spent most of my life being told it’s not a career and to wait until my retirement.
  • I once wrote to one of my favourite Romance authors (Sherrilyn Kenyon) and told her she was my writing idol (this was during dial-up days and pre Dark Hunter days) and she told me to keep working on my dream. And I am finally getting to meet her in March 2019.
  • I once stalked Nalini Singh at a writing conference ( Genrecon 2017) then preceded to tell her how awesome all her books were.
  • Growing up my favourite fictional couples were Rogue/Gambit (Marvel) and Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask (Sailor Moon) – this may explain a few things about me.
  • My favourite Romance movie is ‘The Crow’ (It’s a tragic love story if you haven’t seen it with a killer soundtrack) and the ‘Proposal’ (Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, need I say more?).
  • I have a collection of short stories and a manuscript from when I was in my late teens – those characters still come and say hi but I am not at a stage where I am ready to write about them again. But one day I will have the experience and the skill to do them justice.
  • I have a dog, he is an Australian Kelpie named Rowdy and is very cute but super needy.
  • I am a writer.

Rowdy

Meet Rowdy – super ball focused.

Desk

Where the magic happens…ok I spend a lot of time staring at the wall and its usually not this clean. 

What about you? Do you have anything to share?