It has been a long while since I have heard anyone use those words, tut, tut. They may have been dropped from the dictionary by now – if they were ever in it. However, it is a self- reprimand because I have allowed 17 days to pass since my last blog post. When will I graduate from the procrastinators club?

My feeble excuse is that I have been busy with Goodbye Junie Moon. I know it has been on Amazon for a year now but it needed some punctuation clean-up. It is amazing how often I forgot to put the last book-end on parentheses. And, worse still, I sometimes forgot to place a period at the end of a sentence. This is the result of writing fast and not using a proof-reader. Then there are those pesky commas. Have you noticed that they seem to be disappearing from the written word? I’ve had a few complaints about mine. Either I had too many or they were not placed correctly. Years ago I belonged to Toastmasters International. By pausing at the appropriate spot in my speeches, I gave particular words more emphasis. I write as I speak and there is the little matter of flow and rhythm. I read all my work aloud and I love to get a real rhythm going. Times have changed though, and many people no longer seem to have time to pause.

So, after going through 314 pages it is all done now and back on Amazon, better than ever. Or so I thought – until a couple of days ago when I received an email from the Quality Control Department of Amazon. They complained that I spelled reread as re read. This oversight threw me into the doldrums. I don’t have the energy to pull it again right now so I will apologize to anyone who may read my memoir in the next few months. Please forgive me. And if you have never read my rousing, rollicking memoir, Goodbye Junie Moon, I’m giving you advance notice – the ebook will be free on Amazon for five days from 17th July until 21 July. If you will not be totally put-off by that glaring error, please grab a download. And better still, if you read Goodbye Junie Moon and enjoy it, how about leaving me a review? It’s a hard world out there and reviews help sell books. Just don’t mention that damned, cursed word ‘re read’. So mark your calendars with these dates, unless you prefer to wait until I find the time and energy in the future to make that final correction.




I always boasted I never got writers block. Karma must be charging me retribution. Since I published Junie Moon Rising in April, I haven’t had a writing thought in my head. I have tried analyzing the ‘why’ of this.

Is it because I have wasted so much time on the internet, trying to indirectly promote my books by chatting with cyber friends? If so, it hasn’t worked as my sequel has not taken off with a rousing start. I’ve had one KDP give-away and it was my worst ever. I have no explanation as I did nothing different.

Actually, I do not have a huge internet following and I try to stay in touch with as much regularity as possible with my followers. Bloggers with thousands of followers must find it impossible. Therefore, they would be termed ‘followers’ NOT ‘friends’. I tend to find friends which makes it more personal. This does not, however, help book sales a great deal. Sales come from numbers.The secret to followers must be to blog more AND write with more wit and wisdom.

The time spent on the internet has increased since I’m not writing. In fact, I feel that I waste hours a day, looking for answers there. It has to stop and writing has to start again. But how?

I still enjoy attending my writers group twice a month but I have no new material to read. I still, from habit, wake up at 4 am each day, but I do not rush to the computer, brimming over with thoughts I’m anxious to record. In fact, those quiet, early mornings I loved now feel desolate. Winter is here and it is cold and dark. I don’t want to leave my cozy electric blanket but I’m awake and can’t go back to sleep.

The trouble is, I don’t know what I want to write next, or even if I want to write. I’ve written my life story up until I started adopting the children, I’ve always said I didn’t want to invade my children’s privacy by writing about them. Besides, there are many books out there about adoptions.

My one embryonic glimmer of any story is a comedy. After my children were grown I started doing antique shows, touring the East Coast of Australia while selling American vintage costume jewelry. I had a good supply of this for awhile. It was left over from my Seattle days when I owned the exotic and beautiful ‘Diamond Lil’s’ on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle (my favorite city.) The jewelry is gone now and you don’t find much decent vintage, costume jewelry in Australia so I don’t do that regularly these days, preferring to write.

While doing those shows, you meet the same antiques dealers repeatedly and many of them make good book material. I have had a faint outline for the story in my mind for a few years. The stumbling blocks are these.

A. Will readers find my writing funny?

B. Is it possible to change book genre and not lose your followers?

C. How do I overcome this block and ‘give it a go?’


Blogs That I Follow and Recommend

I don’t follow a lot of blogs – don’t have enough time. However, I do follow the blogs of Darlene Craviotta, Lynn Schneider and Clancy Tucker. Because I believe that all these blog sites are above average, I intend to post excerpts from each one over the coming weeks.
To start the ball rolling, the following is a blog interview with a most talented and fascinating man. Clancy posts on his blog ‘ Clancy Tucker’ daily and his subjects and interviews are varied. Take it away Clancy;

1. What is the title of your book?

‘Gunnedah Hero’. Gunnedah is a rural city in New South Wales, Australia, and the ‘hero’ of this story will become evident as you read the book – Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. Why was he nicknamed ‘Gun’? Read the book.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

This story is about the ‘long paddock’; an expression not many Australians would have ever heard of. What is it? Basically, back in the dim dark ages when life was tough in Australia (1910), farmers moved their cattle along the sides of the public roadways to keep them alive during harsh droughts – always in search of feed and water. Great idea, eh? But, to write a story about a fourteen-year-old Aussie drover with three cattle dogs and a pack horse would have been fairly boring so I had to include all sorts of adventures and misadventures along the way – and disguised lessons in history. Young Smokey leaves home as a boy, but matures during his trip and arrives home as a young man – a lot wiser.

3. What is the genre of your book?

It is young adult fiction, but certainly suitable for ages 8 – 80 years-of-age.

4. Which actor(s) would you choose to play the characters in a movie rendition?

Mm … always said this story would make a better movie than a book, and have thought about this a lot. This story has something for all members of the family – grandparents to young kids. Actors? I’d like to have new Aussie actors to play in the movie. Why not? Everyone deserve an opportunity, and it might just give them that kick along to do other movies. Besides, using undiscovered actors would give me a buzz. It would also provide a ‘fresh‘ element to the movie. Part of the movie deal would include three major points: 1. That I choose the actors. 2. I spend time with them, outlining the characters they will portray. 3. The move maker does not alter the story – at all. That’s it.

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

This is a wonderful coming of age story for boys – especially reluctant readers.

6. Is your book self-published or represented by an agent/publisher?

This book is self-published. However, I’ve rejected four contracts for this book – Sydney, Melbourne, London and New York? Why, because I am passionate about my work. Why should I be ripped off? I own the ‘c’ in the circle – © it’s called copyright.

7. How long did it take you to write your first draft?

Three months and 84,000 words of passionate pleasure. All of my manuscripts take roughly three months to write. It’s an adrenalin rush; almost better than a cold beer on a hot day. The sequel has already been written – ‘A Drover’s Blanket’©, and I’m about to write the third book in the series – ‘Magic Billie’©.

8. What other books would you compare yours to within your genre?

Not so sure there are any along similar lines. This book is two stories in one – 1910 and 2010. Two years ago I deliberately read 237 YA fiction books in one year. Result: most had no story – per se. A majority of them did not edify or enhance the lives of young adult readers – or entertain them. The only one I vividly recall is ‘The silver Donkey’ by Sonya Hartnett who went on to win the most lucrative literary prize in the world. This story hooks you from page one, and there is a connection between the young modern (2010) protagonist, Gunnie, who is fourteen, with the 1910 protagonist, Smokey, Gunnie’s great-great-grandfather, who is also fourteen. I always write for my reader, and this story is one that keeps the reader wanting to flip pages to find out what happens. Although this is about a topical subject, drought, it is also a story that will silently educate city kids who nothing about the bush. Milk and meat do not come from the supermarket!

Maybe comparisons: ‘Secret of the Sands’ – a mystery about the great Sphinx of Ghiza – Egypt … or, ‘Behind the Bedroom Wall’ – a story about the Nazi youth.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

No one person or thing, but I’m inspired to write about topical subjects. This book is about drought, and was written during the biggest and harshest drought in Australian history. Also, I have been concerned for some time that young Australians know very little about our country’s history, so I decided to write ‘Gunnedah Hero’ and provide raw snippets of what life was like back in 1910. So, rather than write a text book, I wrote a book that contains hidden messages and images of life around 1910.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As I said, it is two stories in one – 1910 and 2010. This book is highly believable and inspiring. It is character-driven by people who did it tough; folks who struggled during harsh times but had principles and integrity. It would be a great box office hit. Why, because the entire family would buy tickets – grandparents, parents and kids. Every member of a family would relate to someone in the story, and there are hidden messages for all of them.

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