Mutt, seal and plague.

Here we are in the wilds of the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia (alhtough, in Internet Land I haven’t moved an inch). Within five minutes of our arrival Rex the Wonder Dog managed to leap through a screen door head first. The Old Boy has just finished replacing the screen with much muttering under the breath. He left it a few days just in case the mutt repeated the procedure. We saw a seal sunbaking on a boat slip all by himself. Perhaps the rest of the family were off getting the seal version of fish and chips. Perhaps it was a harrassed mother trying to get a bit of “me” time. As it was lying bellyside down, I couldn’t tell if it was male or female. The seal people like to keep you guessing. So far I’ve found a couple of writers,...

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Hoo roo!

My apologies, dear reader, if I’ve made you a little anxious. I hate to think of you chewing your fingernails, pacing the floor, wondering: Where’s Wendy’s blog? Is she still posting? Has something happened to her?… The thing is – I’m about to go on holiday. (Excited wriggling in chair!) I’ve been working like a wild woman, trying to finish everything before I go so I can just relax. I’ve heard it’s the fashionable thing to do while on holiday, and I’m not afraid to try new things. I finished the final editorial job this afternoon. Phew! No more editing, now, until the new year. I want some “creative” time, to work on my own projects. My characters have been living in suspended animation for...

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Post BC

Tonight I’ll be speaking at an evening aimed at raising awareness re Breast Cancer, raising some money for research, and encouraging women to face life’s difficulties with faith and hope. Actually I can’t be definite that the last bit is the aim of the organisers, but I’ve made it one of mine. My own experience with BC was a long time ago now (17 years – I can’t believe it!) but, unlike other things that happened more than a year ago, the memory remains clear. It helps that I have a daily reminder. The scarred, boob-less half of my chest and accompanying bloated lympheodemic arm is a dead give-away. And then there’s the giant rubber falsie that gets tucked into my bra… Ah, good times. I’ve spoken to numerous...

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After the Fair.

Yesterday I attended a one-day conference for writers, set in the beautiful town of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills. It started at 8.30am so, being allergic to mornings, I spent the night before at a friend’s house a few minutes drive from the venue. Otherwise I’d have had to get up around 6.30 and that would have killed me. (And possibly other road-users on the way there.) Thank the good Lord for hospitable friends! I presented one of the workshops – Writing Your Novel and Presenting to a Publisher – and had to smile just a tad at the irony. I’ve certainly done my share of writing novels and submitting to publishers, but so far the success hasn’t followed. Perhaps I should have called the session: Do as I say, not as I do....

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Floating Heads

Today I thought I’d talk about one of the most common mistakes made with dialogue. Wait a moment while I dress for the part… All done. Ta da! Academic hat and gown on, pointer stick poised in right hand sdo39thh5… pointer stick lying on desk, glasses perched on end of nose, and here we go. Floating heads: We all do it. The writing is champagne dialogue: witty, funny, and so real you can taste it. In fact it’s so good that before you know it there’s almost a page full, or even more. What’s wrong with that? You’ve developed Floating Head Syndrome. As far as the reader knows your characters could be two headless bodies floating out in space. We can hear ’em, but we can’t see ’em. You need to bring those...

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