Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RWA Writing competitions

The Romance Writers of Australia run a full-on competition season with contests for published and unpublished authors, in all styles of romance. 

Now that I've finished my novel, I've been busy editing it - it's as time-consuming as writing the thing in the first place!  I have a couple of wonderful critique partners who give me advice and feedback as I go, but competitions are a great way to get your work out there anonymously for feedback.

So far this year I've entered an American contest - the Emily (first 3,000 words), and the STALI (Single Title and Loving It) for the first 5,000 words.  I haven't had word back about the Emily yet - to be honest, I'm not expecting much because my story is quite Australian, but I thought I'd put it out there and see how it did.  A couple of days ago I got my results for the STALI and while I didn't come close to finalling, I got some great feedback - and a wonderful comment that I'll look back on whenever I doubt my writing!

I've just held my breath and sent off the first 10,000 words for the next contest - the Emerald.  If I'm lucky enough to get through to the 2nd round of it, I'd have to send my full manuscript in, so I'm now very busy head-down, tail-up trying to get the rest of it edited by mid-Jan.  Even if I don't get through to the 2nd round, having a deadline will make me get it edited anyway :)

Do you need a deadline to get things done?  Or are you an internally-motivated person?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back into the garden

It's been a couple of years since I've tried to grow a vege garden.  I had some bad years where everything died, I got busy, ran out of time, so I gave up.  I have lots of excuses - just ask me :) 

Anyway, some friends inspired (read shamed!) me into starting again.  So I'm starting small with a few veges in containers. 

Hopefully this time I can keep it going and gradually expand.

Tomatoes and basil (grown from seed)

Strawberries - we've already had a couple of berries off it - yum!

Tomatoes (grown from a seedling)

Peas and snow peas

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Peter Pan

Some photos that my niece took of the Peter Pan production.  It went fantastically well - a few dramas behind the scenes some nights, but apparently they weren't noticed by the audience.  I was so privileged to be a part of it in a crew capacity - the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is staggering!

The play was set in the grounds of the historic Tocal Homestead - you could go early and picnic on the lawn.

The front verandah became the Darling's nursery

Jealous Tinkerbell!

'Flying' away - amazing puppetry

The Lost Boys of Neverland

Villainous Captain Hook

Oh no, the Wendy-bird has been shot!

Billy (in the furry orange vest) was Curly - one of the Lost Boys

The Mermaid's Lagoon (with the Neverbird in the background)

Michael, John and Wendy with the Lost Boys

Peter Pan scares pirates Smee and Starkey while they are kidnapping Tiger Lily

A cunning plan by Hook

Interrupted by Peter Pan

Lost Boys beg Peter to let them go and live with the Darlings

Tink dying - 'Children of the world, if you believe in fairies, clap your hands!'

Hook tries to recruit John as a pirate about the ship

The Pirate ship & mermaids

Startled pirates

Starkey walks the plank

Listening for the Cock-a-doodle-do

'It's Hook or me this time'

Tink, Peter & Narrators

Impromptu cast photo after closing night - there were about 60 people in the cast ranging from 5yo - adults.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Offline October

Offline October is over.  I'll be honest and say that some days I spent more than an hour online - particularly days when I was tired and didn't want to think.

What it has achieved though is being more mindful of the time that I've been online.  And also prioritising the time so that it's spent making real connections with people rather than mindlessly surfing and getting caught up in dramas about people I don't know.

I've (hopefully) been more responsive to personal emails. I've made steady progress on my editing, and gotten critiques back to my critique partners more quickly.  I was also able to read more books - which is definitely a good thing :)

I've spent more time in the garden, and kept up with the housework more.  I even managed to do some decluttering!

So all in all, it was a useful exercise and one I should repeat on a regular basis!!