Frighteningly Festive Cover Reveal

My Christmas is coming early this year. The #6amAusWriters of Twitter and friends are delivering my present on November 11.

Christmas is an ebook

Christmas Australis: A Frighteningly Festive Anthology of Spine Jingling Tales is being released on November 11. It’s an ebook collection of eight stories that share the Australian experience of Christmas — from the authors point of view anyway.

With December in Aus being summer, we spend December 25 under the air conditioner or at the beach — gorging on salads and guzzling cold drinks if we’re sensible — or overheating the kitchen with a traditional roast if we’re not!

creative and courageous

I mentioned in the last blog when I was pondering about the wonder of sonder, that there is a beautiful moment when people move from the background to the foreground of your life. Over the past few months, I’ve got to know some fantastic Australian writers via our hashtag #6amAusWriters, and I’m amazed at their creativity, their courage and their passion for writing. So now their passion, along with a sprinkle of other Aus writers (also friends from Twitter), and a healthy dose of persistence has created a book.

There’s something for everyone in Christmas Australis, whether you’re a fan of contemporary stories, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural thrillers or even steampunk!

The Cover

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Here it is!

A Frighteningly Festive Anthology of Spine Jingling Tales

The fabulous cover was designed by Cassi Strachan (yep we’re related) at Creative Girl Tuesday. Thank you, Cassi for another brilliant creation!

The contributors are Darren Kasenkow, Emily Wrayburn, Lyn Webster, Andrew Roff, Natasha O’Connor, Madeleine D’Este, Belinda Grant, and me.

Peace on Earth

My story is Peace on Earth — it’s a novelette (just over 10,000 words) about Christmas lunch with a few unexpected guests. I’d call it dark contemporary fantasy. Here’s a couple of hints…

Harbouring a dark Family Secret, prodigal grand-daughter Kate brings her unsuspecting partner home to Christmas lunch with her menagerie of weird relatives.

The Vizards are vegetarians — well, some of them are — now Jack is about to find out how Christmas lunch and keeping Peace on Earth changes all the rules.

There’s more about the other stories on the Amazon Page.

Christmas Australis contains more than 70,000+ words: a novella, two novelettes, and five short stories — something for everyone this Festive Season.

You can pre-order the book for the special price of $4.39. Grab a copy now before it goes up to $5.82 on release day, November 11! (The odd prices are conversions from USD so they may change a bit depending on the exchange rate on the day.)

Pondering about the wonder of sonder

Have you ever sat at a red light and watched people cross the road in front of you? Ever wondered what their lives are like? Then you’ve pondered sonder.

Sonder is grist for the mill of human kindness, connecting us to the web of humanity. It’s an opportunity to recognise and interact, albeit at a distance, with the people around you. Continue reading

Time for fun! And that means what exactly?

You should have more fun!

What on earth does that mean? Fun according to who?

Can you see where this is going?

The sound of ‘should’ tends to bring my shoulders up to my ears. I figure I’m getting a little long in the tooth to be told what I should and shouldn’t do. So when someone (especially me) tells me I ‘should’ do something, it’s a flag to stop, reflect and reconsider. Who says I should do it? Why? Continue reading

Finishing, fun and fitting in – lessons from cockatoos, cats, and dogs

Finishing the first draft of my second book is magical—for a moment—then it’s kind of, well, nothing. Having set aside the whole day to write, I’d been feeling a little weird all day, kind of shaky, gut churning.  And when I finished, well there it was, finished. And I immediately started to think about the  whopping amount of revision I would have to do, the next hill to climb. Sigh… Continue reading

Can you want something too much?

By something, I don’t mean that fabulous pair of boots you saw last week that will go with every outfit you own. I mean like wanting something that makes your head go crazy with excitement and anticipation every time you think of it.
For me, that’s wanting to write full time, in my own time, in my own space. To have people read my words, so that they land somewhere and mean something, make a difference to the way people think, feel, act and believe. Continue reading

Are you a gongoozler in your life?

Valerie Khoo and Alison Tait (from the podcast “So you want to be a Writer”) issued a word of the week challenge the other day. Use “gongoozler” in a blog post somewhere.

So how does gongoozler fit into a blog on living a conscious, joyful life? Tips on life, loss and my literary dreams. It fits very easily. Gongoozler means an idle spectator. And if you know me, or have read any of my blogs, you know that I consciously gave up being a gongoozler a few years ago. I decided enough is enough, time to learn to feel and heal, no more letting someone else drive, or working myself to death for someone else’s dream. I made a choice to change, to be a fully committed participant in my own life, and to follow my own dreams of writing. Continue reading

Getting better versus being good

As we madly set our goals for the year, could you consider choosing a getting better goal rather than a being good goal?

What I mean is, if you think about your goals in terms of getting better at something, rather than being good at it, then with every small change or action – whether we get it perfect, complete or not – we’re achieving our goal anyway – we’re getting better at it. Continue reading

Breathe in deeply, breathe out, repeat.…

So, I’m a published author, I made that dream a reality. What else is possible?

Breathe in deeply, breathe out.

If I can write and publish a book after dreaming about it for decades, then I believe anyone can. If I can survive sharing with the world the deepest hurt of my life and how I found my way home—what else is possible?

That’s what I kept asking myself just before I fell into a big emotional puddle the other day. Up to my neck drowning; again. Tears close to the surface, fear and anxiety rising, the joy disappearing under a tidal wave of overwhelm.

Breathe in deeply, breathe out.

Continue reading

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday this post was titled ” an ocean, a rowboat, and one paddle”. It was all about how if I’d know how traumatic it would be to publish a book, I might have changed my mind. You may never have got to read Breathing While Drowning: One Woman’s Quest for Wholeness.

It’s been almost a year since I finished the manuscript. The writing was an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own; reliving the 20-year-old journals I wrote to my daughter Jacqui Bree before and after her death at the age of four.

But if I thought that was tough…

Continue reading