Das ist verboten

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It’s been nearly four months since I was hit by a car. Some of you may be surprised to know that I’m still hobbling around on crutches, although I am rid of the moon boot as of last week. I need one further surgery to get all the metal taken out, it was supposed to be last week but then I had a bit of a sore throat and the hospital told me I couldn’t go in until after I’d had a test for COVID-19.

The test was unpleasant but tolerable, much in the same way as a pap smear test is unpleasant but tolerable. I don’t have it, thankfully, just some other unrelated sore throat issue. The whole saga reminded me of how weird the world has become. Things which would have been totally normal this time last year just don’t happen anymore, and things that would never have happened last year are common place – like having nothing scheduled every night this week. Lots of people are out of jobs, though thankfully in Australia we haven’t had huge numbers of deaths.

The whole world reminds me of a sketch I saw once, I’m pretty sure it was Bill Bailey but of course I can’t find the clip anymore. He described an East-German sitcom he’d made up entitled ‘Das ist verboten’ (translated it can mean variously: it’s illegal, it’s forbidden or it’s not allowed).

person holding covid sign

Everything I used to do feels like it’s illegal, forbidden, not allowed. Going to see a band, modelling for an art class, catching up with more than five people. I went to the supermarket on Saturday to get supplies for my isobaking and isocooking and there were so many people there. It was stressful. I didn’t feel as though I could get far enough away from people and I was wearing a big jacket because it was cold outside, but it was not cold inside so I was overheating which made everything worse.

Time is moving both extremely slowly and dizzyingly fast. I was released from hospital exactly a month before lock down started, but I wasn’t very mobile then. Now I’m more mobile, I have more energy, I’m even back up to my regular hours at the day job, but there is no where to go. Since being in partial isolation I’ve forgotten how to socialise. People exhaust me. Life exhausts me. I guess that’s kind of par for the course – everyone is exhausted or stir crazy or both.

I announced a while ago that I would publish my third novel on 1 June 2020, that’s only a week away. I blame the weird action of time for this. I’ll be hosting a virtual book launch on Facebook next Monday evening (Melbourne time) and I’d love you all to come. I haven’t entirely worked out what I’m going to do but it should be fun none the less.

If you don’t fancy the book launch or you live in a time zone where it will be awkward, you can always purchase your copy of My Mother’s Secret on Amazon and all good online book retailers. There might be a recording of the launch too.

One day we might look back at this time and think of all the things we learned, all the bread we baked, and all the government deficits we accumulated and smile, but it will be a long time from now. Until then, just try to be excellent to each other I guess.

The end of NaPoWriMo and other iso-productivity

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Yesterday, 30 April 2020, was the last day of NaPoWriMo and I managed to complete my thirty poems in thirty days, as I have in years past. WooHoo!!

I didn’t manage to do a poem every day, there were a couple I missed, but I made them up the next day.

the end text on tissue paper

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Many poems were about isolation and the weirdness that is the global environment at the moment, which I guess isn’t surprising, it takes up a lot of everyone’s brain-space at the moment.

I’ve increased my hours at the day job, working from home of course, and doing rehab for the broken ankle four days a week. And I’ve become obsessed with baking sourdough bread (haven’t we all).

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Sourdough rye/wholemeal bread by me (now that I have got the technique under control)

So keeping myself very busy!

I’ve organised a virtual book launch for my new novel, ‘My Mother’s Secret’, due for release 1 June 2020. I’m still figuring out exactly what a virtual book launch involves, but feel free to come long and join me!

Pre-orders of the book are available on Amazon in e-book and paperback, and other good online book sellers.

Hibernation

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The cold weather is coming
we’re locked in our houses
my brain no longer works
as it should – stuck
a needle on a record
skipping ‘round and ‘round
the same day repeated

 

black and white photo of a card surrounded with flowers

Be creative, that will help pass the time
be disciplined, use the time wisely
but how can I when everything is
broken and dying?

 

The world is faded, grey
an old picture, a flashback
in a movie. Desaturated
technicolour of not seeing friends
lacking human touch, dulled lust
all that remains is blunt hunger
ever present and never satiated.

Florida Man

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Wears a ‘F*ck the Police’ shirt to court wins case
Leaves job at Burger King, steals ‘all their nuggets’, because ‘f*ck it’

Spends four hours yelling at people from roof of Wendy’s in underwear
Gets tired of waiting at hospital, steals ambulance, drives home

Suspected of using private plane to draw giant radar penis
Tried to run to Bermuda an inflatable bubble, again

Plans to shoot down Hurricane Irma
Steals neighbours peacock, gets chased by angry birds

Breaks into jail to hang with friends
Ripped urinal from restaurant bathroom, ran away naked into woods

Arrested for eating pancakes in the middle of a crosswalk
Arrested for assaulting girlfriend with fried chicken

Calls 911 to report himself drink driving
Caught trying to smuggle dead alligator in car

Claims he’s the first man ever to vape semen
Should not be left unsupervised.

Inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt.

Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

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In addition to taking isolation selfies, I have been preparing my third novel for release on 1 June 2020.

I can now reveal the gorgeous e-book cover, made for me by Charmaine Ross.

My Mothers Secret eCover

‘Cassandra Morton’s life is a mess; her mother just died, her ex is a nightmare and her sister’s in trouble.

Jason Harding is the lawyer handling Cassie’s mother’s estate. His father’s new family is falling apart and he hates his job.

It’s not a good idea for either of them to get into a relationship but they can’t stay away…’

You can pre-order the e-book on Amazon here with other platforms to come. I am also setting up print books, which will be available to pre-order shortly, and for general purchase on 1 June 2020.

National Poetry Writing Month

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Now we’re all staying home and not leaving the house for reals, I would like to invite you all to join me doing National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).

I’ve done it a couple of times before and while some days are harder than others to produce a poem per day, I’ve come out the month with a number of good first drafts. Maureen Thorson, the founder and host, supplies prompts and inspiration for your daily poem.

I’ve been coming up with creative ways to fill my time now I can’t go out for coffee and I’m still not really allowed to walk (I was upgraded to 25% weight-bearing last week which was amazing, we we still have a way to go). I have set myself up with all the materials to paint a mural and I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing semi-intricate nail art projects.

My cover reveal should be ready soon for my upcoming novel, My Mother’s Secret, to be released on 1 June. I’ve done some of the background work and I’m excited to get my third book-baby out there.

Take care of yourselves during this difficult time, keep your mind and body active if you can, keep in touch with friends online, access support when you need it. I’m doing okay financially – my main job can be done from home and TAC is still paying me – but I know a lot of people are struggling with that as well as health and lock-in stress.

Be kind, stay inside, we’ll get through it.

I’m gonna be over here…

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…doing my own thing, 1.5m away from any other people.

So we’re all totally over-loaded with COVID-19 pandemic content, so I’m going to try not to talk about that too much, but it’s changed everything for everyone for the foreseeable future.

One of the things that has changed for me is what I want to do with my next manuscript. I had planned to wait for responses from traditional publishers but I suspect taking new authors from the slush pile is not going to be high on their radars for the next [indeterminate period of time]. In light of the whole situation I’m planning to release my third novel independently on 1 June 2020.

The novel is called My Mother’s Secret, it’s a full length contemporary romance novel. I haven’t written a blurb or done a cover but I’ll publish those here and on my FaceBook author page when they’re done.

I’ve made the decision on a whim, I’m still on some of the opioid medication so maybe that has contributed to this slightly impulsive announcement.

hospital ducks

I hope you all have enough to eat, somewhere to hide away from the world, and enough to read. Hit me up if you want e-copies of my previous novels for free, I’ll do a promo code for isolation.

PS: I’m using the rubber duckies wearing scrubs again because it’s still relevant…

How do I say this…

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about this for a while. How much to say, what I want the world to know – my friends and family have already heard about it

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On January 27 of this year I was hit by a car while riding my bike. The driver failed to stop at at give way sign at a T-intersection. I will probably be fine in time, but at the moment I feel shitty and I’ve only been out of hospital for a day.

As far as physical injuries go, I have a broken leg. It could have been a lot worse but I’ve had two sets of surgery on it. I was admitted to a rehab hospital to help with recovery, but I really wanted to get home so I could start getting back to a semblance of normality.

I’m off work for the next while, the doctors gave me three months, but I hope it won’t take that long. I’ve been able to keep in touch with work mainly to make sure they can find stuff that I was working on. I’ll have to sort out a proper return to work plan with the doctors and physios etc. depending on how things progress. 

I haven’t been able to do much writing since the incident. It feels like I should be making the most of my time, but it’s hard to write when you’re in pain and just want to sleep. It’s tough because I’m bored and restless but also tired, resentful and sore. 

So, my life is kind of on hold for a while. I can’t walk on the left leg for another four weeks, and who knows how long after that it will take to get back to full strength. I’ll just have to take things slowly for the next few months.

Auckland Writers’ Festival

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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.