Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Wild and Windy Warrnambool

Firstly I am freezing. I will gain no sympathy I suppose from those in the northern hemisphere where cold is a way of life but here in Australia there are not too many places that get very cold or experience snow. Today the wind chill factor was minus 6 and there is a cloud formation similar to a cyclone over the Tasman sea sending winds of over 122km/hr onto the coast. Windows have been blown out of houses, aerials flying around the town and landing in my back yard. Plants uprooted and trees over the road. (video on youtube of the breakwater today)

Port Fairy and Region Visitor Information Centre's photo. Port Fairy and Region Visitor Information Centre's photo.Martins Point Carpark and Ocean Drive at The Passage are currently closed to traffic.
CRIKEY! Check this out... The 986hpa Low which looks like a cyclone in Bass Strait. It is delivering cyclonic wind gusts up to 122km hr to South West parts of Victoria. The 986hpa Low which looks like a cyclone in Bass Strait. It is delivering cyclonic wind gusts up to 122km hr to South West parts of Victoria.
 Warrnambool breakwater - Dan AtkinsonThere have been some truly awe-inspiring shots from the storms this morning, including these two from Dan Atkinson, who was at the Warrnambool breakwater at just the right moment. Wow. We are sure it is just a matter of time until these start appearing as posters for sale, and so they should! Well done Dan!

Warrnambool breakwater - Dan Atkinson and 38 pictuers on our local newspaper website Take a look. 

Life has been busy. I passed  61000 words on my tally with the Romance Writers of Australia 50/30 challenge and have reset my tally to 70k. I am very excited about this new story. It has all sorts of mischief and mayhem not to mention magic and mystery.

This week on the 52 week challenge, several participants found themselves winners of awards in a competition for children's literature illustrators. Very exciting for them. The theme this week was dots and I put up my pictures of the Iris several days ago but I also did three other pictures and here they are. The daffodils are a present for my sister.

I quite enjoyed this week's theme and found using dots to be a very therapeutic activity.
Next week (starting tomorrow) the theme is clouds. That should be fun.I quite like clouds however I do have a commision to produce art for another writer and I have a deadline to meet so my clouds may have to wait until I have completed the other art first.

Speaking of art, I used my piece from the architechture week to put on my new business cards. They arrived in the post this morning and I am very pleased with them.

I was so excited to make them and have them arrive. I have found recently that business cards would have made interacting and networking a sight more professional if I had had them to hand  around. Now I have them and I can. No more need to scramble around in hand bags for pen and paper and then try to spell out the email and name four times.

I submitted another novel to a publishing house and am trying not to be nervous about it. keeping busy helps. I keep a tally of my submissions through a facebook group called sub six. it is predominantly for picture book writers but I use it to keep a track of how ofen I am sending work into the world.

I vowed no more anthology pieces though. I have made a gargantuan effort to send work out to anthologies this past year but they don't seem to be generating the kind of interest or feedback that I had hoped. They have added to a portfolio of published work for me to speak of and they have given me an opportunity to find outlets to try different genres so I have written Christmas stories, mermaid stories, fairy stories, stories of hope, horror, humour, romance and fantasy, science fiction and non fiction. Picture books, adults and teens. I have enjoyed writing every story. I have won some competitions and plenty of little prizes that make me smile but now I am settling down and thoroughly enjoying the longer pieces, the novels that really let me explore a world and plot and characters. I am engaged in the kidlit world through monthly challenges, SCBWI, 12x12 and  WOWNonFicPic, Chapter Book Challenge, 14:14, Feb Picture book marathon, Revision Month, start the year off write, Rhyming picture book month and so much more, there is a plethora of challenges for anyone who really wants to dive in head first into the world of story writing and I have tried so many things and studied up on all sorts of aspects of writing and publishing. I have also had my fingers burned by vanity publishers, dodgy small press and some shonky characters and thank goodness I am not young and impressionable or so desperate for other people's approval that I would fall into the glib trap of the grooming techniques they play.

There are some lovely people running quite legitimate small press because they love books and writers and want to be there but it is always important to look before leaping and do some research before signing on the dotted lines. Double check those contracts and get advice. Don't take the first offer because of the excitement of being published the first time.

It has been a wonderful 18 months of exploration and I am anticipating a good long career ahead.

I joined the local Warrnambool Writers Group and I volunteered to put a FB group together for them. They are also doing an anthology with will be the last one I contribute to.

My blog has had to take a back seat to the novel but i will be here a couple of times a week.
Anything else exciting to tell you? I am sure there are some things and I will pop them on the next blog entry. Keep safe and warm or safe and cool depending on where you are. Love and hugs.