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awf I’m a subscriber of an online literary magazine, Kill You Darlings. They’ve been around since 2009 and I admit I don’t read as many articles as I probably should.

What I do pay attention to are the excellent competitions. One I recently entered was to win tickets to the Auckland Writers Festival 12-17 May 2020.

I recently found out I’d won! Two tickets to the festival, three nights accommodation, and a voucher for airfares! It is a surreal experience to win something that cool.

I immediately went to the webiste only to discover the program won’t be released until March! First world problem, I know, but I wanted to go through and choose my sessions and swoon over the gorgeous people I’ll meet or hear or see.

The added bonus is that one of my very best friends lives in New Zealand and I will joining me at the festival.

It’s looking like my travel for the year will be largely to attend writing conferences. I’m also planning to attend the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference, this year to be held in Fremantle. I’ve never been to Western Australia before, so I hope to spend a week or two taking in the different sights and landscapes of our beautiful west coast.

I had a nice, if short, break away from the day job, and have been somewhat less productive than I had hoped to be with my writing, but with this announcement I have something to work towards and be inspired by.

The period of Christmas and New Years has been hard and weird for many Australians. Although I haven’t been seriously affected by the bushfires ravaging our country I’ve all been dealing with the terrible air quality and constant blanket of smoke along with many other city dwellers. I have no mechanism to deal with the enormity of the lost of life, both human and animal and insect and plant, and the scope of the recovery phase that will be coming. I find myself overwhelmed by the whole thing and just watch comedy shows on Netflix and hide my head in the sand.

I hope you’re all doing what you need to do to take care of yourselves out there. I’ll keep you updated with my adventure across the Tasman.