Go Dockers!

I’ve never been very sporty, either as a spectator or as a player. I’m a girlie girl with an aversion to sweat and dirt. I know, why did I ever become an engineer? And why am I writing rural romance. But that’s not what this post is about.

 

Before I met my husband, I didn’t know a thing about football and wasn’t really interested in learning.  To be honest, even when we started dating and I found out his family (who are from Fremantle, by the way) were mad keen Dockers supporters, I still didn’t try to get into football.

 

It wasn’t until after we got engaged that I knew I had to make some changes. If I wanted to be welcomed by the family, the first thing I had to do was take out a Docker’s membership. So for my first year of marriage, I went to every home game they played in. Wow! That was an education. Talk about Loretta’s year of Football.  I can’t say I enjoyed every second and I cancelled my membership after I considered us ‘safely’ married (LOL)  but it did give me a soft spot for the Dockers and an appreciation for the game.  I almost feel like they’re my ‘in laws’ too now. Just the ones I don’t see as often. LOGO2011-246A-use-this-one

 

So last weekend, I was very proud to see them make it to the Grand Final for the very first time. I hope this post brings them luck on Saturday!

 

Go Dockers!

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Gap Year In Hawaii

Steel caps coverJust lately I seem to be reading a lot of blogs and writers newsletters about the appropriate way to deal with bad reviews. I don’t know why… just seems to be the flavour of the month. Most of the time the advice is, if you get a bad review, ignore it. Don’t respond. Don’t get mad. Move on. You’ve got the next book to write and you could do more damage than good by interacting with a dissatisfied reader.

In my opinion, writing a book is a lot like raising children. After birth you do your best to teach them, educate and bring out the best in them. You try to give them good morals so that they can make the tough decisions in adulthood. However, once they fly the nest, they’re on their own. You have to trust they will live a full and wonderful life without your interference. In fact, trying to retain control will only push them further away.

In the same way, once writers finish that last set of revisions and send those final pages to the publisher, the book is out of our hands. We have to let it go and hope that it lives a full and wonderful life in the big wide world without us there to hold it’s hand.

Good, bad or mediocre, I do enjoy hearing how my books are doing, “out on their own.” Today, I got an email from a lady who lives in Florida, that just MADE MY WEEK. She told me that she was on vacation in Kaua’i and stepped into a used book sale fundraiser at Princeville Library in Kaua’i.  There she bought my novel, “The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots” for a dollar and proceeded to enjoy it very much. She now promises to buy the rest of the books in the series.

For me, getting this message was surreal. It just seemed so amazing that one of my books had travelled so far from home. Since this novel isn’t distributed in paperback to America, I can only assume that this particular child of mine is on a gap year in Hawaii. How great!

On a side note, I was also very pleased to hear how much this lady from Florida enjoyed the setting.  At the writer’s conference I attended in August we were all given the bad news that American publishers aren’t really interested in buying romances with Australian settings given, “American readers prefer books only set in America.”

Well! I think there’s hope yet.

 

Happy Reading!

 

Turning Points – I think I had twelve this week…

In mid August, I went to the RWA writers conference in Perth and attended Kim Hudson’s workshop on “The Virgin’s” journey. “The Virgin” being an archetype that describes the heroine in most romantic fiction. Kim proposes that “The Virgin” makes her journey through twelve story turning points. In her workshop she illustrated much of this using well known romantic comedies. My kind of genre! Her work actually expands the work of Joseph Campbell who developed the original twelve step journey for “The Hero” (another archetype) for general fiction.

Anyway, so why am I relating all this mumbo jumbo to you? Well, I would like to introduce a third archetype to the mix. Let’s call her, “Loretta Hill.” This archetype, describes the typical struggling writer, dreamer by day, word smith by night, always looking for a way to make her life easier – mostly to no avail.

Anyway, if I were to plot this particular archetype’s twelve point journey this last week. I would have to say, it went something like this.

1. Loretta is trapped by her Dependant World. She realizes that she has a novella to submit to her publisher by November and she’s still in holiday mode. Eeeek!!!
2. The Price of holiday mode is an angry publisher, disappointed readers and an unimproved bank balance. Groan.
3. But she has an Opportunity to shine, by using the techniques just discovered at Kim Hudson’s workshop so,
4. She decides to leave her comfort zone and for the first time in her life : PLOT a book to make writing it go faster.
5. In this new Secret World where she’s a plotter not a panster, she is able to plot the journey of “The Virgin” on paper until she notices that,
6. Her heroine Doesn’t Actually Fit “The Virgin” archetype profile. In fact, “The Virgin” archetype is more appropriate for the male lead in her story. In desperation she…
7. Digs up Joseph Cambell’s twelve point journey for “The Hero” and uses this to plot the journey for her heroine. It works well, and now compliments or Collides perfectly with the journey she has plotted for her male lead.
8. With her two beautifully plotted plans, she feels Inspired and sits down to write. The words fly off her fingers as inspiration soars until she realizes,
9. Shit! She has deviated from both her plotted story plans after just six sentences and created Chaos.
10. Oh well, too bad. She feels so much better in this Wilderness and the words flow, from zero to five thousand.
11. By ten thousand words, she has to confess, “Once a panster, always a panster.” But at least,
12. In this New World where she accepts who she is, she realizes that maybe it would be better to use archetypes for inspiration rather than plotting.

Happy Writing!