Monday, January 19, 2015

Stuck Again

Lovesick is like an old lawnmower: sometimes it fires up quickly and runs efficiently, other times it starts then coughs and splutters into silence, and on occasions it doesn't fire up at all. I'm stuck again at the moment, that is, nearly two weeks now with no time and nothing new to contribute, no spark of desire or imagination. When I eventually finish it, it will be my greatest triumph.

In other news, I had two short stories accepted for publication this week. One of my goals is to hit 50 short story publishing credits in 2015, and perhaps celebrating the milestone by publishing an anthology. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Trip to Somewhere

I started back at work on Monday after a three week break for Christmas/New Year which wasn't quite long enough. That always seems to be the case. I had  numerous family gatherings -my nana and daughter both have birthdays in early January- watched lots of cricket, including going to two games, went swimming often (beach and pool), and I took a trip to somewhere.

I'd like to tell you about the trip which involved flying to a destination, buying a car and driving back, but I am currently plagued with all manner of apprehension vis a vis sharing my personal life online. My online presence has always been about two things: fun and book sales.

Book sales? Still waiting for those. Fun? Some of what I call fun is now being deemed insensitive and offensive which leaves me wondering what to say and what not to say. I have always considered myself to be a very circumspect person; cautious in word and deed, but it seems I have either been deluding myself or I have undergone a radical change. In any case, I find myself bridled, and I fear this is no good thing.

On the book front, my first novel, Devolution, will be re published with a new cover this year, and of course A Muddy Red River is also due for publication in 2015.

Friday, January 2, 2015

W.A.S.

Happy to report a very productive back end to 2014 and marching on nicely into 2015. Lovesick is now 27 chapters strong. I am still, however, wrestling with the story, wondering sometimes what I'm doing, where I'm going. It is much different than anything I have previously written, to the point where I wonder if it will be recognisable as me. Of course it will, and I have high hopes for this one but that's nothing new?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top ten reads of 2014

The end of the year is the perfect time for top ten lists and everyone knows that top ten lists attract attention, especially if you use hashtags. So as well as providing the fascinating revelation of the ten 5 star books that I read in 2014, I am also, as always trying to attract additional readers to this much underrated blog.

Without further ado.. Here they are in no particular order.

Till We Have FacesOut of Time  (Out of Time, #1)In God They Trust?1984When "I Do" Becomes "I Don't": Practical Steps for Healing During Separation & DivorceFor One More DayDebris (The Veiled Worlds, #1)Heart of DarknessThe Four LovesEl Magic


Click here My Year in Books for the full list of books I read in 2014. 29 in total.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Redeemed Part 2

Today is a rest day. I'm reflecting once more on a busy Christmas period during which my feelings of dread were destroyed. Here is the next five in my Top Ten Christmas moments for 2014 again in chronological order.

6. Scattergories is a fun game and one which I usually play well. On Christmas Day I played with my son and daughter, and managed to get stuck on the letter 'H', writing a second list of words starting with 'H' when we had changed the letter. The next go, I started with the correct letter, then for some reason reverted to 'H' again. When I finally sorted myself out, I managed to fill all ten slots for the letter 'M' and was very proud of myself until we started checking our answers and the nominated letter was actually 'N'. This caused my children to almost die of laughter.

7. The pleasure of giving gifts.

8. On the way to my girlfriend's friend's place for Christmas dinner we struck heavy struck on the southern outskirts of Sydney. I needed a pit stop so I pulled into a service station. There was a long queue for the ladies' toilet and another shorter one for the men's. To pass the time and to take my mind off the urgent call of nature, I wished everyone a Merry Christmas and began a conversation with the guy in front of me in the queue. When the bathroom was free, the man with whom I was chatting amiably allowed me to go before him. Merry Christmas.

9. My girlfriend has had a lot of bad luck at Christmas over the years. She even resisted putting up the Christmas tree, believing it was cursed. However, by the end of Boxing Day, I saw sparkle return to her eyes as she rediscovered a little of the Christmas magic.

10. A head measuring competition at my dad's place after Christmas lunch on Boxing Day. For the record my son won and I came equal second with my cousin.

Please share your Christmas highlights.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Redeemed

In the aftermath of Christmas, I want to reassure my readers that my Christmas was far better than I imagined it could be. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and at Christmas we celebrate his birth, the beginning of God's plan of redemption. By keeping my eyes on Him, my saviour, this Christmas has also been redeemed.

I want to share my top ten Christmas moments for 2014. As I don't generally like long blog posts, I am going to split them in two. Here are the first five, in chronological order.

1. My aunty and uncle hosted a Christmas lunch/dinner/breakfast for my mum's side of the family the Sunday before Christmas. She purchased a number of small items from a second hand shop, wrapped them and distributed them to us as we sat around the table. We were instructed to chose a gift from the basket, unwrap it and tell a story about it. We could then chose to keep it or give it to someone else, and explain why we were giving it to that particular person.

2. Images on television of babies and toddlers sleeping peacefully in the arms of their parents at the annual Carols in the Domain concert in Sydney.

3. My girlfriend and I drove around on Christmas Eve looking at
Christmas lights. The trouble that some people go to to produce such spectacular displays, and the way they welcome strangers to join together on their lawns and enjoy, still makes me smile.

4. Singing "You are the Light of the World" at church on Christmas morning. A pumping song with lots of energy, hand clapping, gestures and a simple, powerful message of hope.

5. I began a new Christmas tradition with my family many years
ago which involves a trip to the beach on Christmas Day. December is notorious in Australia for un summery weather, and Christmas Day itself is often rainy and cool. This year, we had warmth and sunshine and we swam in the ocean under the watchful eye of individual lifeguards. Yes, there were enough lifeguards on duty to rescue each and every swimmer should we have encountered any trouble in the surf.

While you wait for the next five, why not share some of your Christmas highlights.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Worst Christmas ever

I love Christmas. I think I love it more as an adult than I did when I was a  child but I can't really remember what I thought when I was a child. I love Christmas because it is a celebration of everything good. It represents the things we all want from life. Hope, peace and happiness. It is meaningful because of Christ. For me, nothing is meaningful without Jesus.

Sadly, Christmas like all things in this corrupt and fallen world has become, for many people, a sad time. For example, people who have had bad things happen at Christmas: loss of loved ones, relationship breakdowns etc. Someone told me recently that she did not want to put up a Christmas tree because it brought bad luck, and I scoffed even as I struggled, and am struggling to find joy this Christmas. I'm trying but it's really hard.

In 1991 I was alone in Thailand where they do not celebrate Christmas. That was my worst Christmas. I fear this year will surpass it. My personal life is a mess, and I am unhappy most of the time. The extreme emotional highs and lows I have experienced this year have left me jaded and anxious about the future. I have made some bad decisions this year and I am living with the consequences of those choices. I have to accept this, and try to find myself again. I have to remember who I am in Christ.

I pray that things will get better and I believe they will, but it's hard. Very hard. Peace, happiness and hope. God help me to have a Merry Christmas. Maybe I should stop thinking about myself so much.