If speaking is silver, then listening is gold…

I’ve recently reacquainted myself with audio books…

Back when I lived in Tassie, I delved into the amazing world of audio books, purchasing several Nicholas Sparks audio books on CD and listening to them while I exercised. It’s been more than 10 years since then, and last week I purchased my first audio book since The Wedding on Audible.comLooking For Alaska by John Green (Between you and me, I have a secret love for John Green stories which, it just occurred to me, happen to be in the same vein as those of Nicholas Sparks. Who would have thunk it, hey?).

These days, between working, looking after the boys and writing when I can steal a morning, finding time to read is tricky. Usually by the time I go to bed and lie down with a novel, I’m so tired I only manage get through a page or two before the lure of sleep overtakes me. With audio books, though, I can listen to them in my car on the way home from dropping off the boys at school in the morning, and on the way to picking them up in the afternoon. And that’s a good hour a day!!!

In one week I’ve almost finished Looking For Alaska, a feat which might have taken me months if I’d been reading the novel at night time alone 😀 

I must admit though, I feel a little overwhelmed by all the audiobooks I have to choose from. I’ve already decided the next audio book I’ll be listening to Brideshead Revisited. Not only because I’ve been wanting to read this book since forever, it’s also only a little over 2 hours long! After that, though, I have no idea.

Night Circus, perhaps? Or The Bronze Horseman? I’ve long wanted to read both of these novels. Or maybe I’ll delve into a series, like Vampire Academy or Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Some other YA books have made it onto my wish list too – Eleanor & Park and All The Bright Places. I guess we shall see which one ultimately grabs my attention.

Regardless of what my next selection will be, I’m so excited at the thought of all the books I’m going to be able to devour now that I’ve rediscovered Audiobooks!

Just a quick note before I go – I thought I’d share with you my favourite quote from Looking For Alaska. When Miles asks Alaska why she smokes so damn fast, she replies:

“Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”

Best. Line. Ever.



Today this memory came up in my Facebook feed from 4 years ago:

And this one from 8 years ago:

Funny how 8 years on this post is still just as pertinent as ever — 4 years on I’m still working on that same book!!!

At least I’m consistent 😀


Harvard Law… who am I kidding?

In the spirit of wet weather and cuddling up in a cosy jumper and sneakers (yes, after days and days of plus 30 degrees heat, it’s actually raining here today and only 19.9 degrees!!!) I pulled on my jeans and favourite Harvard T-shirt before heading down to the office. To those not in the know, I love anything Ivy League (I’m even plotting an Ivy League thriller) and on a whim decided to search the net to see what sort of Harvard University-related gear I could find 🙂

Much to my delight, I came across this cool website:

Apparently it’s run by none other than the students of Harvard themselves!

I just love how they add at the bottom of each item’s description: All orders designed, packaged, and shipped by Harvard University students.

Some of my favourite items would have to be…

This sweatshirt tote bag: 

That Harvard Trapper Beanie (like OMG how gorgeous!!!): 

And these folders: 

This striped scarf: 

That T: 

And those pencils: 

Although if I’m being brutally honest, I might have to add this one from Etsy to my list… cos here in my office it’s   all round 😀

Progress Update

A most amazing writing weekend!

We had a long weekend last weekend and I spent most of my Friday and Saturday tucked away in my writing room, sneaking out every now and then to watch movies with the kids and play board games (we discovered our old copy of the board game Zathura tucked away, so we introduced the kids to the movie and then played our very own version which was super fun 🙂 so much so that Musketeer #3 decided he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up).

Zathura, The Board Game: Adventure is Waiting

I haven’t had so much fun writing in ages! I was totally in the zone and it was wonderful 🙂

You see, since the end of last year I’ve been stuck on the two last scenes I need to finalise before I can move on to the next section (which involves writing 12 brand new scenes). The reason being that these two scenes are pretty good but they’re written from Boudica’s perspective, and a big part of me feels, in this new dual-POV version, they should be written from Aiden’s perspective. So, as I’m sure you can appreciate, a huge conflict has been raging inside me, between that part of me which thinks I should just leave them as is and move on, and the other part of me which is adamant I should get it all right RIGHT NOW!

According to the first part of me – the one which thinks it’s okay to move on – the scenes are good enough to stay the way they are for now. It’s far more important to finish the book than to keep messing around with things over and over again. I can always go back and change the POV once the rewrite is done. But the second part of me – the part which is naggy and whiney (let’s call her Marge) – disagrees with this logic profusely and will not allow me move on until I’m completely satisfied with every scene that has preceded.

Well, over the weekend, Marge finally won. So I put down my metaphoric pen and printed a copy of my manuscript. Then, with a newfound determination blossoming inside my heart, I combed through my rewrite, scene by scene, making changes as I went and refusing to set aside a chapter until I was convinced I’d done my best.

Now, this may sound like a bugger of a thing to do, but I absolutely loved it! It was so gratifying to polish a scene to satisfaction, stick a smiley face sticker on the print out, and then move along to the next. So far I’ve finished 16 of a total 36 scenes. Once I get to those last two pesky scenes, I’ll attack them with gusto and transform them into Aiden-POV scenes Marge will be proud of.

And then FINALLY I’ll be able to charge forward with no regrets 🙂

Anyone familiar with my favourite YA series, The Secret Diaries by Janice Harrell, will understand why this song is so dear to my heart…

Progress Update

Progress Update: A Whisper of Death Rewrite


That’s how many words I’m into the rewrite now.

That’s 54.66% of the way, if I calculate on the basis the novel will be 90k words (its current length).

6 scenes to go until I get to the diary entry scenes, which is the point I was hoping to reach by the end of the year. So I’m not too far off track 🙂

Then I’ll only have 12 new scenes to write before I get to the finale.

THE best part of all.


Progress Update

When it comes to writing (and Twin Peaks) patience is virtue…

Today I’m feeling pretty damn fine…

I just finished scene 22, which was a brand new scene to be slotted in amongst the others. In total for this rewrite now, I have completed 30,179 words of my 90,000 goal. This means I’m just over one third of the way done!

At the start of this year, I set a goal for myself. In the earlier versions of my book, a series of diary entries appears at the end of Act 2. By the end of 2017, I wanted to finish rewriting all of my scenes up to those diary entries. Right now, I’m 14 scenes away, so if I can get one scene finished a week (which isn’t too unreasonable), I can potentially reach my goal before the end of the year, with 6 weeks to spare! Those six weeks are wonderful to have up my sleeve because they allow for any of those unexpected interruptions life likes to throw into the mix.

This is a great feeling, because back in February I had sort of reconciled myself to not being able to write much this year at all. But now that we have our two amazing Settlement Superheroes, and David has offered to drive the kids to school two mornings a week so I can squeeze in some writing time, I am back on track, baby.

At this rate, A Whisper of Death should be finished sometime next year and I’ll be able to participate in the exciting world of pitching again 🙂 Gosh, I miss that.

I’ve set up a toolbar in the dropdown menu above, showing my progress as I rewrite A Whisper of Death. The day it finally reaches 100% will be a day for celebration! I can’t wait.

One thing I can say about writing… and David Lynch – they certainly teach you to be patient…