Monday, December 31, 2012

New challenges

The New Year holds lots of changes for our family which I have already talked about in other posts but a new one has popped up during the last few weeks. I have a new job and will be commuting to work in a city library three days a week and working in our town library two days. I haven’t worked full-time for twenty years! It is pretty exciting and amazes me that at this stage of my life I have found a job I love, want to study for and learn more about.
In keeping with the Letting Go theme I have decided to let go of this blog for a while as I find my feet with the new job and commuting. My husband is very excited about being a house-husband for a while and I may never need to cook again!

I will need a new hobby as I won’t be pretending to write a book anymore. A friend suggested ‘beta-reading’. That sounds like fun as that’s what I do – I read. I will look into it.

Thanks to the lovely people who follow me on twitter, I now have a list of new authors to try and can’t wait to get my hands on their books. Uni student daughter is taking me shopping tomorrow to finally buy an e-reader.

False Advertising by Dianne Blacklock is on top of the reading pile at the moment and soon I will have all the lovely new ones on my e-reader!
To all of you who have taken the time to read this blog I wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.
The writing and proofreading has taken a back seat but I will always be a reader. 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

We do a fairly low key Christmas here. Everyone is on holidays and looking forward to putting their feet up before a new year of change for us all.

Enjoy your Christmas and have fun.

I have just started reading The Harp in the South by Ruth Park. An Australian classic I have never read.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One of my favourite bits

It’s been another busy week in our household. The job interview I mentioned last week turned into an offer of employment so I have been busy filling out paperwork. I will tell you more about my new job soon. Youngest daughter received an offer for Uni so she is very excited. My husband and I had three Christmas parties in a row and we are exhausted!
As promised I will put up one of my favourite bits from my ‘book’. I hope you like it. I will put up some more in a few weeks.

Favourite bit number one:

Are you going?’ Leah was looking at the clock.

‘I’m a bit tired.’

‘You know you’ll feel good if you go.’

‘Alright, Suzie and Victoria have promised they’ll come.’

You guys will never keep it up. We have a bet on to see how long you’ll all last. Don’t go for a drink after, you promised to take it seriously.’

Zumba has come to town. Lily went for the first time last week and the hall was jam-packed. Did she really want to go back and make a fool of herself again?

Suzie and Victoria were there when she arrived. The gorgeous Kelly was up on the stage and it looked really easy when she did it.

Lily, Suzie and Victoria puffed their way through the lesson. When they finished they congratulated each other on surviving another week.

‘Let’s go get a glass of champers.’ Lily said to Victoria as they picked up their bags.

‘Forget a glass, let’s get a bottle. Are you coming Suzie?’

Victoria and Lily went out to the bar while Suzie had a chat to Mary.

‘I’m dead!’ Lily flopped into the chair.

‘Me too, that was bloody hard.’ Victoria fell into her chair.

‘Where’s Suzie?’

Victoria turned to the door and burst out laughing. ‘Here she comes, quick get the walking frame out!’

‘What the hell do we think we’re doing? I hate Kelly. She’s so perky and fit.’ Suzie collapsed into her seat and pulled out her towel to wipe away the sweat.

‘Who’s going to the bar? Maybe we can just shout our order from here ... Steve ... a bottle of bubbles please.’

Steve looked over and started laughing. ‘Have you lot been to Zumba?’

‘Yes,’ they replied.

He brought a bottle and glasses to the table. ‘Can’t have you getting up and walking to the bar now can we?’

‘Thanks,’ they responded.

Victoria poured the drinks and they raised their glasses.

Suzie proposed a toast. ‘Cheers to perky bloody Kelly.’

‘Cheers to perky bloody Kelly,’ Lily and Victoria chimed in.

I've not had a lot of reading time but am trying to get through Secret Mothers' Business by Joanne Fedler.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Moving on

the tray is empty and ready for a new project
November was a big month for our family. There was a lot happening and some big events took place including finishing HSC exams, skydiving, a birthday event and a school formal. The end of semester and assignment deadlines were looming and a job interview needed some preparation. I ran out of steam for Nano. My word count was nearly 8000 and I am proud of what I have written but know I don't have the discipline to write 100,000 words. During the next few weeks I will put up some of my favourite bits but It is time to put the ‘book’ away and move on.

I will still write and tweet about whatever pops up as we figure out the ‘empty nest’ chapter of our lives. As promised I have figured out how to put photos on! I hope you continue to stop by and see what’s happening.
 Less Than Perfect by Ber Carroll is all I have had a chance to read.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

School's out forever

Another milestone occurred this weekend as we all went to the Year 12 Formal. Our girls did their high school years at a K - 12 rural school with a population of around 420 kids. At the event Friday night were 36 Year 12 students and their families, friends and teachers. Everyone dressed up and danced the night away. This event officially finishes our connection to school.

 uni student's preschool photo

We started preschool in 1997 during the week we moved into our new house. Our daughter was so excited about preschool she wanted to have a uniform like the big kids at the primary school so we went out and bought some yellow t-shirts and a blue skirt. Within months I was asked to be President of the P&C and started years of committee positions at school and for sport. I even coached a netball team. They had no idea that I had no idea and some of the girls still play.

youngest daughter's preschool photo
So for us school is over. We know that whatever our girls choose to do they are well-equipped from their years of primary school in the city and high school in the country and they have great friends along with them for the ride.
I had a couple of days break from the textbooks as my final assignment is in. Just some tests to go. I am reading another Katie Fforde book called Stately Pursuits. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My secretive family

I have just had the best weekend. It was my birthday during the week and my family and I were heading into Canberra for dinner  and to see Denise Scott at the Canberra Theatre. My husband and I were staying over at a very nice hotel and having a shopping day today.

Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the restaurant and the table was booked for 10! There are only four of us and in walked some of my best friends and neighbours. And they were all coming to the theatre too!

We had a lovely night and Denise was hilarious. I can’t believe they all kept the secret. This outing has been planned for months apparently and no one said a word. Even youngest daughter didn’t say a word when I was giving her a hard time about driving home after the show and trying to convince her to stay over as well. She had plenty of company for the drive as the car was full of my friends.

I did finish Love Letters but haven’t read anything else as the end of semester is looming and I have work to do.  Assignments have left NaNo behind too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

After the HSC - jump out of a plane!

This weekend has been a big one for our family. On Friday our youngest daughter finished her HSC! When I saw her after the exam her face was lit up with relief and excitement. We went to dinner with another family and their now finished HSC student. It is a strange time for them now as they wait to move on to the next stage of their lives.

After a late night we had an early start to head down to the coast for my husband and now finished HSC daughter to do their first skydive. It was so exciting! Uni student daughter and I are not inclined to dare-devil activity and we were happy to stay out on the deck at the airport watching the sky, taking photos and cheering the skydivers. This was a present to our youngest for her 18th birthday and my husband has always wanted to have a go. Needless to say they loved it and wanted to go up again. My husband says he will go again but only if I go too. In his dreams! My dare-devil inner self was let loose a number of years ago for a significant birthday when I went up in a balloon. That was amazing and I would love to go again. It’s such a shame it happens at such an ungodly hour and now we would need to leave home around 3am to get there on time. He says he isn’t too keen on the balloon idea but is happy to jump out of a tiny plane at 14,000 feet!

Nano is happening too. I have actually written about 5,000 words at this point.

I am still on Love Letters by Katie Fforde. It's been a bit busy around here but I must make some time for reading.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's November

Offline October is finished and it’s on to Nano! I did pretty well with only going online for an hour a day during October. I did fall off the wagon a few times but that’s okay because overall I reduced my internet time wasting and only looked at what I need to look at.
So, it’s on to Nano for November. This will be a huge challenge but I am willing to give it a go. My goal is to write every day and get the words down, and however many words that is will make me happy!
Good luck to everyone having a go.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Letting go

For years my dream has been to write. I have done courses and read books about the craft and written bits and pieces and had some published in various forums. I have had ideas for two books, written a couple of thousand words, done lots of planning but never had the discipline to actually write them. Deadlines are good for a procrastinator like me and I have signed up for NaNoWriMo and am going to make an effort to get lots of words written.

If I don’t make the effort during November I probably don’t want this as much as I think I do and it is time to let go and move on to something else. Letting go is a recurring theme in our lives at the moment.

My husband has been back to Perth for the funeral of a family friend and met up with the ’gang’ he grew up with. Everyone is going through similar events in their lives and coming to terms with the ‘empty nest’, health issues and changing careers or retiring after a lifetime in one job or industry. His work life is changing too and he will be working one day a week next year and figuring out what he wants to do with the rest of his working life after 25 years in the same industry.

My proofreading partner has been offered a full-time job she really likes and I love my part-time library job and want to pursue more days. We have decided to wind up our business and see where these new opportunities take us.

Making decisions and letting go is scary but life is too short for holding on to jobs and projects we don’t have the passion for anymore. Finding new ones keeps us engaged, active and happy.

I have just discovered Katie Fforde and have finished Wedding Season and started Love Letters.

Good luck to all those having a go at NaNo!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rain, snow and sunshine

What a week! The weather has been the talk all around town with lots of rain and snow. It snowed all around our district except where we live. By the time I arrived in town for work it had all gone! My husband has been on holidays, the sun is now shining and he has planted lots of new flowers in the garden.
I have done well with Offline October. I did go over the hour a couple of times but not for too long. My writing productivity hasn’t been as good as I had hoped but I have read some books, done my CIT homework and gone to bed early!

Just finished reading Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke and started Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Offline October update

It’s day one of Offline October and I am feeling very pleased with myself. I did a lot of CIT work and although I did need to go on the internet for my assignment I did not go wandering. I stuck with what I needed to look for and got off!

I can keep this up for a month!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Offline October

I have decided to attempt Offline October. What a great idea! I have been spending too much time wandering around the internet, reading this and that and before I know it hours have passed. I haven’t done enough CIT work this semester, I have written very little of my ‘book’ and not spent any time figuring out and writing interesting blog posts. If I limit my internet time to one hour a day imagine how much writing can be done?

As I now know how the camera works my plan was to take photos for this blog and for one of my CIT assignments. How many photos have been taken? Not one! It’s time to get out and about with the camera.

 My goals for October:

Ø  spend more time on CIT work
Ø  write blog posts and take photos
Ø  write my ‘book’
Ø  read some of the books on the pile by my bed
Ø  don't waste time on the internet!
Have a look at

I am reading The Charm Bracelet by Melissa Hill.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Proofreading, do we even care anymore?

I have been proofreading my husband’s essays. Yes, he too is studying – we are a family of students this year. I don’t pretend to understand a word his essays are on about but he is amazed by the errors I find! They are the usual spelling mistakes and typo’s that we all make.

I have been reading a lot lately, both online and in print and have been surprised by the mistakes creeping through. I know mistakes will always get through even a rigorous editing process but there just seems to be more these days. Or is it just me?

In this instant world we live in I am as guilty as the next person of dashing off a quick response to an email, a comment on a blog or a tweet. I press the send or publish button before I have had a good look at what has been written.

I recently read something where the author didn't think it was fair for proofreaders to charge for proofing words such as ‘the’ or ‘and’ when they appeared all through the document. Isn’t it the job of a proofreader to check every word? I know I often type ‘teh’ instead of ‘the’.

Do you get frustrated by mistakes you come across?

I came across Kate Hunter on Twitter and loved The Parfizz Pitch.

P.S.  Any mistakes in this blog post are the responsibility of the author and she did try to get it right!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Technology, don’t you love it?

Semester two has started at CIT and my subject is Use Multimedia. My first exercise was to create a PowerPoint presentation. Having never done this before I was very proud of my first basic creation.

The next exercise was to add bells and whistles such as animation, sound and narration and the finished product is a work of art!

This week’s homework is to write an instruction sheet on how to use a digital camera. I have talked uni student daughter who is home for the weekend into coming out with me tomorrow to teach me how to use the camera. I have bribed her with lunch in town afterwards. We will then download the photos onto my computer and I will write the instructions as we go. My technical skills are slowly improving and at the end of this semester there will be no stopping me and this blog will be full of technical wonders!
Did you notice the Twitter button? I did that by myself!

I read The Happiest Refugee by Ahn Do and loved the saying of his father, ‘There’s only two times in life – there’s now or there’s too late.’


Sunday, August 19, 2012

This planned life

Last week I spent Tuesday in Canberra and went to the Reading Room at the National Library for the afternoon. It is an amazing room and the minute you walk in you feel inspired to work and create.

I made a plan for my ‘book’ and was surprised by the ideas that popped into my head. My characters now have a back story and I have figured out lots of storylines for them.

I am a planner. I make plans for everything but the two areas I do no planning in are studying and writing. They fit in around procrastinating of which I am an expert.

A couple of weeks ago my first exercise for semester two came in and I needed to create a PowerPoint presentation. I had never done this before and to stop my panicking about it I sat down and planned what I wanted each slide to say. It worked and when it came time to create the presentation it all came together beautifully.

My goal for this week is to create writing and study plans and promise myself I will stick to them.

Are you a planner? Do you stick to the plans you make?

I haven’t read anything other than Twitter and wherever the tweets lead me this week. I did, however, bring home four books from the library. Time to log off Twitter and read a book!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Time to set some more goals

I have been inspired by the fabulous women I have been following on Twitter and have gone through stories I had written over the years and found some which can be used in my ‘book’.

Last week we bumped into some friends and over coffee talked about my dream of writing. I came home that day and wrote up some of the conversation we had. It turned into nearly a chapter! Wow, if I can do that after one coffee I need to do a JK Rowling and write in the cafes around town.

Everyone is talking about the Olympics and all the athletes who compete have their dream, set their goals and go for it. I have my dream and am working on setting myself small step-by-step goals and will go for it.

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty is the only book I have read in a while as I have been doing a lot of 'research' on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Successful antique shopping

Our eldest daughter has just come home from her first overseas trip. She went to New Zealand on a Contiki tour and had a ball. She now has the travel bug and is saving for Europe. We are so proud of her. She has a job she loves, is doing her degree part-time and is happy. Her sister is planning on joining her at uni next year and has one term left at school before the HSC takes over her life for a few months. We are getting used to life without the kids around.

As they are pretty much independent of us now we do have more time to do the things we love and after years of looking at antique dining tables and sideboards we went shopping on the weekend and finally made a decision. Last year we found some gorgeous dining chairs and now we have the table to match. What I love about the sideboard is that it is a 1920s bookcase but perfect for what we need. If I could find the camera I would take a photo.

I am currently reading The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello Twitter

The last few days have been quite productive. I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to improve my social media skills. I tried Facebook a few years ago but it wasn't for me although I did enjoy playing scrabble. I do write comments on blog posts I like but needed to do more, it was time to join Twitter. After a glass of wine and some chocolate I sat down and created my account. I found lots of my favourite authors and bloggers and followed them. Some of them even followed me!

I now have to figure out what to tweet about. Any ideas?

I have just finished reading The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly. Can't wait for her next one.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meeting a new family member

I have been enjoying my time off from CIT and catching up with other stuff that got left behind while I was studying.

I have also been back to Perth to visit family and friends and meet my great niece! We celebrated her one month birthday while we were there and I am in love! This little bundle of joy is precious and I was not ready for the emotion I felt when I first held her. We left Perth sixteen years ago and I have not seen a lot of my nieces over that time. To see my niece with her baby was amazing. I am so proud of her. My sister is a grandmother and that too is weird. I know I will not see a lot of my great niece but I have started writing stories about her family in NSW to give to her.

Are you away from your closest family members? How do you keep in touch?

I have just finished the new book by Nora Roberts The Last Boyfriend. This was the second book in the Inn Boonsboro series. The first one I mentioned a few posts ago but couldn't remember the name of was The Next Always.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

End of semester one

It is done! All my assignments are in and semester one is over! What have I learned?

I learned that I didn't need to agonise over my homework and assignments - just get it done. As the last few weeks flew by I did get better at that as I was running out of time and energy. There is nothing like a deadline to get you going.

I learned which areas of Library and Information Services interest me and where I want to pursue extra work.

I learned that you are never too old to take on something new. I did feel like the 'granny' on campus but I wasn't the oldest one there.

I made some lovely new friends and we supported each other through the last mad weeks of getting assignments done.

I enrolled to continue on in semester two - what was I thinking?

Not much reading has been happening. I did read Stella Makes Good by Lisa Heidke and loved it. Hopefully I will have more time and energy to read before semester two starts! I have a pile of books by Australian women to read and can't wait to get into them.

Has anyone else just finished a semester of study? How did you go?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Assignments, assignments!

Four weeks to go until all my assignments need to be in! Over a coffee with some of my classmates we all 'pinky promised' we would call each other for support if we felt like throwing in the towel. We have been doing well and need to keep going.

I have just finished reading Diane Blacklock's The Right Time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I now have her new one on my pile to read. On Monday I went to an author talk with Diane, Ber Carroll and Liane Moriarty. They were all lovely women and spoke about their journey into writing and publishing novels and were inspirational. I came home and looked at my 'book' but need to finish this course before I can revisit and spend some time on it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Confessions of a mature age student

We are on a break at the halfway point of the first semester of my course. The work is getting more challenging and it is becoming harder to sit down and do the study.  Life in the country is busy and although it is no excuse that's just the way it is.  I logged in to do an online test the other night only to discover it went for over two hours.  As it was a test reliant on my memory, which is not at its best these days, it would be better to do this one when my brain is not tired. I have nothing but admiration for my classmates who are doing this course full-time and have jobs and family committments.

It is also time to reflect on how far I have come during the last few months. From the first day when I felt totally out of my depth I have learned so much and don't feel out of place on campus any more. Most of the students are so young but there are a few of us in the mature age demographic! I don't sit by myself for lunch every week now - sometimes I sit with my classmates!

My 'book' is still untouched but there are ideas floating around in my head to put down on paper - maybe I will create a character who is studying. We have done some proofreading and I am reading How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly. It's a big book but a great read.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

There is no need to panic!

This last week has been an anxious one. I have been panicking over assignments and wondering what possessed me to think I was up to doing this course. I love my job in the library and don't need the certificate to prove it.

I was booked in to do an exam in the IT subject but I came across stuff I didn't understand while finishing the course work. Ask for help? No. Go into a panic? Yes! After days of stressing I cancelled the test and booked in for some assistance with a teacher. As he explained it to me it all made sense. Should I have asked for help earlier? Yes, yes, yes! So why is it so hard to ask for help?

I don't like being out of my comfort zone and with this course I am. The work needs to be done and I don't like admitting that some of it is hard and I don't understand it. My family are always telling me not to 'overthink' everything and my younger daughter takes pleasure, I'm sure, in pointing out 'you're overthinking it, just give me an answer'.

My husband has been telling me all week it doesn't matter that I don't get it all, I am doing the course to learn and the teachers are there to help. I just have to do my best and pass the course, that's all. It doesn't need to be perfect. Maybe I will listen as last week took a lot of energy to get through and I could have used that energy on other subjects or even relaxing with a good book.

I did read the new book by Nora Roberts but for the life of me I can't remember the name. If I didn't waste so much brainspace on panicking I might be able to remember the name. I did love it though!

Are you studying? How do you manage stressful weeks?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homework, homework!

I have been doing my course for a couple of weeks now and the homework is getting harder.  Apart from some short courses I have done nothing on this scale for a long, long time and am terrified by some of the assignments I have to do!

I don't have as much time or energy to read or write other than homework. I have cancelled subscriptions to some of the newsletters and blogs I followed as they were piling up in my inbox and had little chance of being read. My 'book' remains untouched and the tv is being ignored.

What I do have is immense pride in myself that I have taken this on and as hard as it is I am doing it.  It's early days but each time I finish an activity or exercise or send in a piece of work to my teachers I feel very proud of myself.

I would love to hear your 'back to study' stories. Please feel free to leave a comment.

One book I did read was In a Nutshell which is the latest book by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly and loved it. I caught the end of  27 Dresses the other night and loved Katherine Heigl and can picture her playing Stephanie Plum in the movie One for the Money.  I must go and see it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Study time!

I officially start at CIT this week! One of my teachers put a post out to her students asking us to use three words to describe ourselves. At this point I am 'scared and excited'.

I have been working on my first online IT subject and it hasn't been as hard as I expected. I am of course a fabulous Library Assistant and therefore know how to look for stuff so I have been very good at wading through my huge textbook to find the information I need for the quizzes at the end of each topic. Luckily the exam at the end is an open book one so hopefully I will be ok as my memory these days is not as good as it used to be!

I start classes on Tuesday and now must get back to my IT work!

I have just started reading The Briny Cafe by Susan Duncan.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading, writing and proofreading in a new year

It's the beginning of a new year and I'm excited.

My CIT course starts next month and I can't wait to get going. It's a bit scary but I'm up for the challenge.

I have started working on my 'women's fiction' story. My Christmas break was spent sorting out my notes from the writing course. I have looked at all sorts of writing websites and there is so much information out there but they all say 'get it written' and that is what I am doing.

As for exercise and cutting down coffee, wine and chocolate - I am trying hard. I have developed a taste for strawberry daquiris though!

I have just finished Janet Evanovich's Explosive Eighteen.  I am in the Morelli camp and wish they would get it sorted!