Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)

XXI Commonwealth Games

Koala Art @ Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

The Commonwealth Games are arriving on the Gold Coast next April 2018. Spanning a two week period, the Goldie has been preparing for the Games for what seems an age! There are road works, traffic jams, new buildings being constructed left right and centre (including a new light rail!), as  well as the added improvements to Carrara Stadium and the Olympic sized swimming pool in Southport. 

Its a multi sporting event, involving the 70 countries that make up the Commonwealth, including (in no particular order), Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand and South Africa.

It promises an array of sporting events, including Athletics, Swimming, Boxing and Badminton. Tickets range from $10 – $20 which I think is good value, although the opening ceremony is around $500!

We are planning on getting a few tickets – I’m interested in the athletics, and hubby wants to watch the boxing.

I’ ll be glad though, when the road works are completed and the Coast gets back to normal! ☺ 

# XXICommonwealthGames2018 #GoldCoast #Australia

Short Story Monday: Middle Earth

#shortstory #australia  

Surfer’s Paradise

Rhian parked up in the last available space in the tiny school car park. Just one space left! Quickly, she manoeuvred the car into the spot.

Looking down at the brand-new dashboard, she switched off the engine, still coming to terms with driving the large jeep-like people carrier that they had bought the previous week. Matt’s enthusiasm as they left the car sales showroom the previous week was entrancing, and they’d taken advantage of the powerful engine as they drove down the Pacific highway,

‘What would they think of this back home?’ he’d laughed, ‘We can drive onto the beach and allsorts, it’s awesome!’

Jack and Carys had giggled at his enthusiasm, strapped in the back of the humungous vehicle, Carys looking small in the large car seat.

They’d been living in Australia for just over a month now, and were loving it. The lifestyle was laid back, the weather fabulous, the scenery breathtaking. The route to the border to New South Wales had taken them past eucalyptus trees, glimpses of azure blue ocean, and the smell of frangipani overwhelming the senses. They were lapping up the sights and sounds of this new landscape. Just last weekend they had picnicked up beautiful Mount Tamborine with its gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, and the high-rise apartments that made-up Surfers Paradise. From this height the apartments looked like little Lego pieces arranged along the coastline.

‘Mam, hurry up or I’ll be late. I can see Ryan over there, waiting for me!’ Jack’s voice broke into her thoughts.

She glanced at his eager face and smiled. He had settled beautifully into his new school with the minimum fuss and bother, enjoying the Australian school environment. Any nerves that she had felt were diminished the very first day when Jack had skipped out of school, chatting away to a group of other boys. At nine years old, he was young enough to adapt quickly to his new life. Carys on the other hand, was not so keen on the crèche that they’d enrolled her into. Rhian thought that she was still cranky from the long plane journey and the heat. She was not sleeping as soundly as she had in Wales. Rhian made a mental note to buy a free-standing fan to help cool the evenings.

Unbuckling the car seat, she held onto their hands whilst they crossed the road to the school gates. The sun was already a golden globe in the sky, promising another day hot sunshine. She smiled to herself as she remembered the first week that she had stood at the school gates waiting for Jack to appear. She had been chattering away to Carys when they were surrounded by a group of nine-year-old boys, Jack included.

‘Hi mam, this is Ryan, and Tyler, and Blake. I told them we are from Wales.’

‘Hello boys, how did school go?’ Rhian replied, looking at the faces gazing up at her with what can only be described as utter confusion!

Jack giggled as he looked at their puzzled faces.

‘You must speak slower, mam,’ he giggled.  ‘They are just getting used to your Welsh accent. Either that, or they think you are from Middle Earth!’

‘Don’t be cheeky, Jack!’ she replied, adjusting Carys t-shirt, Across the front were the words: I ❤ Australia in bold gold and green letters.



Writing seminar

I recently attended a writing seminar at the State Library in Brisbane. Hosted by local author Belinda Pollard and  author and entrepreneur Joanna Penn, the seminar offered tips on self publishing including things to do and things to avoid amongst the reams of self publishing advice that is available.

Joanna Penn runs a blog called The Creative Penn, she is an international speaker, author and self publishing guru. She writes best selling thrillers and offers tips and advise on formatting, book covers and self publishing on platforms such as Amazon’s KDP publishing site.

There was a lot that I was familiar with, plus a few tips that were really helpful. I’m glad to say that the seminar was very informative, informal and fun. 

Check out her book, Author 2.0 Blueprint, which offers lots of sales and marketing tips. 📚

Book review:The Wonder,Emma Donoghue

My local library has a book sale going on this week. I was a little late to the party and thought that the best books had gone, but perserverance is my middle name! Besides everyone has their own tastes. I picked up 11 books for just six dollars. These are a few of my gems. Two of the books, by Hannah Kent and Emma Donoghue have already read but I am excited to add them to my collection!

Here’s a review of the fabulous Donoghue goodie, The Wonder.

An English nurse is sent to rural Ireland where a young girl has not eaten a morsel for months. Tourists have flocked to see this ‘wonder’ but is she real or is it a hoax? 

Lib Wright’s role is to observe and watch her patient like a hawk:

“More water?” She offered the spoon. Anna’s eyelids flickered but didn’t open; she shook her head. “Be it done to me.” What ‘s the source of an 11 year old girl feeling resigned, powerless? Or, do those words mean something else, altogether to the child?”

This is a top class historical psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the first few pages. 

A well recommended 5/5 .

PS Looking forward to reading this again ! 📚

#books #reading #readingrainbow #iamreading 

Flash Fiction: Climbing Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis, Scotland

For my Creative Writing course at uni, we naturally have to write creatively. This week, we have been discussing POV and perspectives, so I thought I’d share my piece of writing, which is from the point of view of my younger brother and a camping holiday taken in Scotland in the 1970s.

Climbing Ben Nevis

My sister is always reading. Anything to hand, she’s not fussy. At the moment she’s engrossed in a teenage love drama,  about a girl who has a crush on a boy. So boring. My dad calls her a book worm. ‘Always nose deep in something or other,’ he tells us, turning the pages of a  large newspaper.

I look out the window of our VW van. The Scottish countryside sweeps past; all greens and browns, sharp spikes of firs piercing the grey sky. My dad turns the wheel a sharp left and we trundle down a pot holed lane. A wire fence is the only barrier against a group of cows in the nearby field, watching us intently as my dad avoids another puddle. We lurch over a cattle grid, and a sign above us says ‘Ben Nevis Camp Ground. All Welcome!’ in faded yellow lettering.

My sister nudges me, shaking her head in disgust. What does she know? So far she’s barely raised her eyes from the latest Jackie magazine. I think her taste is rubbish. Dad drives on regardless, parking the van in a small enclave on the edge of the forest. The mountain looms above us, shrouded by a low lying mist on its peak. People are trailing down its side, clutching bright orange hoods that keep blowing in the wind.

‘Come on, no time to change. We can be up there before lunchtime,’ my dad encourages. ‘This mist will clear, you’ll see.’

My mum frowns. Skippy our Jack Russell licks my hand encouragingly. My sister groans.

‘I’m up to a good bit in the story! Do I have to come, really?’ she whines.

But my dad has already opened the sliding door. Skippy jumps out and scampers to the nearest thistle bush.

‘We’ll see you up there then. Come on son,’ My dad strides ahead. I zip up my jacket and pull on my hood. My ears tingle in the cold.

I follow his figure, watching as he easily climbs over a stile. There’s a youthful bounce to his step.

‘Wait up boys!’ My mum calls. ‘The weather forecast is grim. I’ve made us some tea; can the climb wait until morning?’

I look at dad. He looks back at me.

‘I suppose so,’ he mutters.

Maybe girls are wise after all.

#flashfiction #Scotland #creativewriting #POV

Holding : Graham Norton

I had this book for my birthday recently. Being familiar with Graham Norton as a warm and witty T V presenter (a favorite on British TV) I was pleasanrly surprised to find that he’d written a book! 

This is not a regular memoir about a celebrity but is a genuine fiction story. Set in Ireland, it follows an overweight policeman in a small Irish village. When the remains of a body are found in a farm, Collins discovers dark secrets and lies that go way back.

Its blurb states that it is “darkly comic, touching and profoundly sad.” It seems to have all the ingredients that I love in a book.

Looking forward to this one….☺📚🎉

#birthday #irishfiction #grahamnorton 


Today is my birthday – 12th March. I’m a Pisces; romantic, dreamy and hopefully creative!

Here are a few fun facts on a day that we love to celebrate:

Many religions celebrate with significant holidays:

Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity has a significant birthday, celebrated on 25 December. 

Prince Siddhartha Gautama the founder of Buddhism, has a birthday around April/May.

In the U S, Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday, the third day in January.

Accordingly, the Greek historian Herodotus states that the Persian people loved their birthday celebrations. The rich celebrated with whole baked cow, horse or camel, while the poor made do with scraggy bits of the animals!

Moreover, in Japan they have the Coming of Age day at 20 years.

In Korea, the 1st birthday is significant, known as Doljanchi.

A 100 year old birthday warrants a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth ll herself, as part of the British Commonwealth.

In Judaism, 13 year old boy has a significant birthday, a bar mitzvah.

Me? I celebrated with a bottle of red and some lovely tiramisu!

#birthday #celabrations #wine #italian


Two year anniversary!

My blog is 2 years old today!

To celebrate, here’s a couple of pics of cool Aussie foliage ☺

#anniversary #Australianfauna 

My local library

Since starting the creative writing course this week, I am already spending extra time at my local library, ordering reading materials (Helen Garner books are on this course, love her style) and getting back into study mode.

But its no hardship really as the library is a new state of the faciliity that shines like a cultural beacon in its surroundings (namely old folks duplexes and a quaint shopping centre). Opening in 2013, it promised a new cultural experince with a digital media lab, 200 seating auditorium, recording studio and meeting rooms.It has extra study nooks, fab children’s area with slides and more computers – no more booking your time online!

Here are a few pics I took today, whilst browsing the YA section for my daughter. The art feature is of a very colourful koala bear – they are dotted all over the Gold Coast. ☺📚

#writing #books #iamwriting #studying #library #GoldCoast 

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