CALAVERAS BIG TREES

When our vacation in the heart of the Sierra Nevada happened to coincide with one of the largest snow-falls of recent Californian history - I was ecstatic! How lucky were we? Breaking 20 year records, the Squaw Valley reported it’s snow bank at 246 inches high (or 20 feet tall). It was a childhood dream of mine to visit Narnia and this was beginning to feel pretty close…

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APRIL'S BOOKCLUB

WUNDERSMITH

It feels so bad to say this aloud, but I didn't like it. I wanted to love it. The magical city of Nevermoor is unique and imaginative, and there's a deeply disturbing Museum that was well written. The tension grew quickly towards the end, and I didn’t see the plot twist coming. I just failed to be moved by it... My problem was that I couldn't shake an overwhelming feeling that I'd read this plot before. It all felt a little bit too familiar, which left me flat and frustrated. 
Have you read Wundersmith yet? What did you think? Rating. 3 out of 5 stars.

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I DID IT

My inner-voice repeatedly asked … Do I have the skill to write this story? Should this be my second or even third novel? Is the story too ambitious for a first-time novelist? Will I look back in time and be disappointed by how I wrote it?

My inner voice was crippling until Margaret Atwood said something to me.

JUST DO IT

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CONFUSED

It’s exactly 12 months since we moved to California and I’m beginning to feel grammatically challenged!

During my Mum’s recent visit, we were commenting on the fact that none of us have developed a US accent (yet). What we had developed, however, was a different vocabulary. There was no change to our intonation but we were saying things like candy (lollies), trash (bin), practice (training). It’s funny how we can sound the same while sounding so different. The thing is, it’s quite a funny story…

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BRIDGE ANGELS

It looks like a cheesy tourist photo on Golden Gate Bridge with people I know, but to be honest I have no idea who these people are. I don't even know their first names, but I want to draw your attention to the orange arm band he's wearing. This makes him a "Bridge Angel" or a volunteer who gives his time to walk up and over the bridge watching for those people who are sad and lonely and contemplating jumping over. It seems sad but actually it was quite beautiful. Every "angel" we passed either smiled or wished us a happy New Year. She wore an arm band too. Some folks are just beautiful are they not...

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OH SO VAIN.

Bliss found a home in New York… until she didn’t.

I'm guessing you think I'm super excited to tell you this news.

When the email came through earlier this month, my instant reaction was to screen shot the front page of the contract and share it with everyone. My social media sites were primed and ready to go before I took a moment and thought ... "Hang on; pause a sec’ Wend. This is public announcement stuff and you haven't accepted the offer yet!"

I’m so glad for that pause. It probably saved me thousands…

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TWO YEARS LATER

November marks the 2nd anniversary of my first book launch.

The road to self-published author was much longer than I anticipated.  It took 7 years from the day I sat down to write Dad’s story until I had something to share. Most of this delay was because I was so determined to “do-it-alone”, but there were other delays like finding an illustrator, finding a graphic designer, finding a printer, and so the list goes.

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NANOWRIMO

For the first time ever I’ve committed to NaNoWriMo and in so doing have joined the hordes of the suddenly antisocial as we attempt to write as many words as possible over the next 31 days. My goals are modest. I’m aiming for 10,000 words by November 31st.

Here’s a quick glimpse into the novel that I’m writing …

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BLISS

As you can see, Bliss was a real dog. In fact, she was a Red Setter who lived on a farm in Badgingarra (yes that’s a real place - google it - middle of nowhere, Western Australia). Bliss was a very beloved part of the family, but she was different to the working dogs - Chip and Boot. Boot was an awarding winning sheepdog - he was fast and smart and obedient and also a really sweet dog. Chip was his son (chip off the ole’ block; or Boot as it turns out). I actually feel a bit guilty that I’ve used his name to create a not-so-nice character. That’s a little unfair don’t you think?

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