Murder, Mayhem & Menopause is finished! I was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen. Months ago I thought it wouldn’t take long to get to the end but my characters had other ideas and took me on the journey they’d decided they needed to go on. I’ve given the manuscript to a couple of trusted friends (writers and readers) and am grateful for their feedback. The problem with writing the story is that you are too close to it and sometimes can’t see that some things need changing or expanding – or deleting. I’m very grateful to these readers for their opinions and comments. And for letting me know that they loved it! Thank you, gals. My husband read it too – but I know he only reads my books for the sexy bits 😉

It’s been a month of surprises. As you may have read in previous posts, I have been organising WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival, for the past six years. Last month a local Rotary club asked me if I would attend their change-over dinner and give a talk about WriteFest. Grateful for the chance to spread the word about writing and books, I agreed and spent a while working out a talk that was hopefully interesting enough to keep them awake and not nod into their desserts. So imagine my shock when, instead of being asked to come up and talk, I was asked to come to the podium to receive a Paul Harris Fellowship award for my work with WriteFest. I was so surprised I was speechless for a minute (quite remarkable for me, my friends will tell you). I feel very honoured by this as although not a Rotarian, I know how highly Rotary regards this award and wish to thank them for it.

Mentoring the Muse –  That’s the title of a writers mentoring retreat that I am conducting with two other writers in October. It’s an intensive three-day retreat offering one-on-one mentoring to writers of novels, short stories and memoirs, and plays. Acceptance to attend is based on submissions and these close on 20 August. If you are interested in attending, have a look at our website and send in your submissions.

Isn’t it great to see winter is on the way out? I’m a spring and summer person – love the heat and swimming and watermelon and mangoes and ice-blocks dripping down my arm. Don’t like the psycho magpie who lives in a tree next door and attacks everyone within a 500m radius, including me as I get mail from my letterbox or hang washing on the line. Once his daddy hormones kick in he doesn’t seem to recognise that I’m the person who feeds him and his kids. Anyone who moves becomes his enemy, including a wheelchair-bound neighbour I had to rescue because he couldn’t push his chair as he needed his hands to fend off the feathered fiend. None of the other maggies are swooping yet, but he’s already started. And if last year is any indication he’ll be swooping long after the others have kicked their kids out of the nest. Anyone with a metal helmet for sale?