I took this photograph of my daughter’s latest art project this week. We went up the school to the exhibition the other evening. Its acrylics on canvas, inspired by Picasso’s sunflowers with a twist.
Its been a hectic week so far, as I’ve started back at university. As usual, its full on. I’m doing another YA unit, and my work seems to be heading in this direction at the moment.
Having said that, I still have my book The Zealand Girl ready to be published. Its almost done editing (is anyone ever happy with the editing process?). So, its going to be sent to publishers….I think I want it to go the traditional route this time.
So, keep writing ! I’ll have more stories to share in the coming weeks.
Writing the perfect story is a lot like producing a lip-smacking dish. All the ingredients must be carefully selected and measured before they are blended to create a melting pot of spices that entice a foodie’s soul. But no matter how good you are at crafting an engaging story (or cooking a delectable dish), there are always ways you can improve your creative writing (or cooking!) skills.
Here are 10 ways you can polish your creative writing skills and take your scrumptious dish to the next level:
Spend Time Crafting a Killer Opening
It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a mammoth novel, a short novella or an even shorter short story. The opening of your book is the most important part because the first few paragraphs determine whether your readers will continue reading your tale or put it down. The best way to create a killer opening is by grabbing…
I had to share these photos, taken early this morning on my back fence. I live in a rural street on the Gold Coast hinterland – just one street away we’re in bushland, right through to Uluru (Ayres Rock).
The cockatoos are a familiar sight, flying high above us and perching in the forest opposite my house. But this morning they chose to perch on next door’s roof! I went out my back to take a closer look and put nutty cereal along the fence and they flew over to take some. Needless to say, my dog Billy was not impressed – I had to lock him inside the house while I took these photos.
Cockatoos are regarded as a nuisance to some Australians, mainly because they’ve been known to cause the destruction of fences and rip apart fruits off trees and then throw the fruit, damaging and bruising it – they like mangoes in particular!
I think they’re beautiful, graceful and very intelligent, and was pleased to see them this morning….it made my day.
I took a photograph of this cool light fitting at my favorite shopping mall on the Gold Coast – Pacific Fair Shopping Mall.
We went there early today, to a bargain clothes show that was being held in the Art Exhibition Centre. Everything was just $2 including men & womens clothing and childrens. There were brand names too, so we had a few bargains! Its all for charity so we’ll be supporting the next one at the end of the year.
After all that shopping, brunch was the order of the day…plus more shopping! This pic was taken after ordering a well deserved coffee and we sitting under the arty light…very contemporary isn’t it ?
This is a story I wrote over the weekend, in response to a prompt. The image prompt showed a dinner party preparation; a pristine white table cloth and cut glass glassware, silver cutlery and creamy blooms in high set vases.
Have a great creative week!
Annabelle carefully placed his name tag next to Sophia’s. It sat there, inconspicuous among the cut glass, the silverware, the flowers. Not too overpowering as to send any guest off in fits of coughing. That wouldn’t do at all. No, it had to be perfect.
She had taken to an age to get it right, while the girls had taken their naps. Then she’d shopped for flowers, filling vases in every room until Harry had told her to stop it; it was too over the top. So, the overblown blooms had been discarded in favor of these insipid blossoms. Still, they may be a better choice.
She paused a moment, glancing at her reflection in the window. Fingers crossed that tonight was a success; if not, it would never be right again. She stopped then, pictured the balloons in the living room floor, the presents lined up on the sofa. No, she was determined that this would work out.
Harry’s shoes clipped the wooden floor, his aftershave filling the room.
‘Do we have to go to so much trouble? Anyone would think the Royals were in town.’ He laughed at that, a joke at her expense. She knew without turning around that his head would be tilted to one side as if in deep thought.
‘Hardly. Don’t you want me to make it special? After all he’s been through I thought it would be nice to spoil him.’
‘Have you made sure the toys are out of sight?’ she murmured, allowing him to nuzzle her neck.
‘All done,’ he replied. ’It looks lovely in there; Queen Bess would be proud.’ He tapped her rear. ‘I just hope he appreciates all the effort, but he’ll probably demand to go to bed early.’
His words denied the pride in his voice.
‘I’m glad too, darling. It’s important to you, so it’s important to me,’ she said softly, not telling him of the nervous knots in her stomach, that she’d not eaten all day.
‘I know, but inviting Sophia? She’ll be chatting up the nearest man to her, regardless of who he’s with. I hope you know what you’ve let yourself in for.’ He glanced around the table. ‘Why eighteen?’
‘Well, I thought it would be significant. Alex turned eighteen last month remember, so I’ve invited eighteen guests. Sophia makes up the eighteen in total.’
‘I’d rather you’d asked seventeen…! Alright, I’m going to greet our guests.’
Annabelle walked out of the room, climbed the stairs. Headlights flashed across the bedroom window, illuminating the room. Sophia stepped out of the car first, their driver fumbling with the trunk. Annabelle caught her breath at her beauty, the way her dress sparkled in the lights of the porch-way. Then she saw Harry, so considerate as he grabbed Alex’s wheelchair, fussing around him, trying to ignore his ex-wife. She knew he’d never forgiven her that night, the speed she’d been driving. Alex looked so strong, so handsome, she only wished he was hers.
We took a drive inland this weekend, to the hinterland. You have to either drive over (very steep!) or drive around Mount Tambourine in order to get into the heart of the Scenic Rim. Either way, the scenery is breathtaking, for it was once an active volcano that brought up a range of gorgeous mountains and forests. There’s Mount Barney and Mount Lindsey that edge the border into New South Wales…someone once told me they thought it was God’s country out there, and they weren’t wrong.
It also made a change from the busy madness of the coast, which has its own beauty, with the endless beaches and surf. Inland, we cruised past grazing cattle, rolling hills and farms that nestle among the forest.
Which begs the question: what would you prefer? Busy but beautiful coastline or quiet and gentle rural hills?
After 12 years not far from the beaches, the tranquility of a country setting certainly appeals – and imagine how much writing I could accomplish!
Today’s guest post is brought to you by James Bee. Thanks, James!
You have to read to write. Everyone has heard this, over and over again. It’s usually one of the first pieces of advice that is thrown at rookie writers. Read more! We’re told to read more than we write, read everything we can get our hands on, but why? How can this help?
There’s a whole bunch of ways that reading can help improve your writing but I’m going fo focus on three main ones.
Reading can help you get unstuck. Getting stuck is one of most painful experiences you can have when writing. Writers learn to dread the feeling, sitting down at your keyboard and having nothing to put down. Day after day goes by and you fall farther and farther behind your goals. It sucks, plain and simple. Reading can help save you from this…
“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood,
tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”
Beautiful words by a beautiful soul! Helen Beatrix Potter
A whimsical and brilliant
writer and artist.
Born today July 28th in 1866.
Known mostly for her charming sweet children’s books starring such famous characters as; Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten, and of course the timeless Peter Rabbit.
However she was more than just an enchanting author and incredible artist. She was also a natural scientist and conservationist, and she dedicated much of herself to the passion of plants and animals.
What an astonishing women!
A few books that tell her story/stories: (Click Pictures for details)
The first is a biography on Potter, the second a collection of her
Just a picture we took over the weekend at our favorite spot on the Gold Coast; Broadbeach and its coastline. Its wintertime, and as usual its sprung so quickly that everyone has been frantically buying warmer clothes, and the whales are busy making their way up the coastline to warmer waters. I don’t blame them.
I love this time of year though, for the humidity has gone, leaving crisp mornings and warm afternoons. It hardly ever rains either, the sky has a vast blueness that even the best artist would find difficult to replica. Added to that, the lush deep green foliage…nature at its best. 💚
Have a creative weekend, I’m spending it at home, making beef stew (or as my granny used to say – Welsh cawl) to keep warm. Also reading a lively historical mystery book by Karen Maitland. I haven’t read any by her before – she specialises in Medieval England, mainly the 13th century – but I would recommend her. Will write a review when its done.
Also on my TBR list is the new Stephen King, ‘The Outsider.’ Can’t wait! 📚