December 2017

Hello again and thanks for dropping by. As I write this the Sunny Coast is really getting into the summer holiday season with school holidays in full swing and tourists arriving from interstate and overseas ready to enjoy this part of the world.

With a new year just around the corner, it is time for me to take stock. For many years I have tried, and failed, to keep New Year’s resolutions so for the past few years, I have instead looked back over what I have done during the previous twelve months. Believe me it is so much more satisfying to look at a list of goals you have achieved. Yes I still make goals, but they are more short term ones that are achievable. Long term projects get broken up into sections which then seem not so daunting. I think this is a common practice among writers, especially when days get busy with the peripheral things that go along with self-publishing and marketing.

I find this system works for me – mainly because I am an inveterate planner. Blame that on a time management course I was sent on during my working years with 3M Australia. I enjoy sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and mapping out the coming week - what has to be done and what I would like to be done. Often, not everything gets completed as life gets in the way of all best laid plans, but it does give me a starting point and beats staring into space wondering what I will do next.

Looking back over 2017, the year got off to a much slower start than I had hoped for due to the first few months being spent recovering from health issues, but looking at what I have done, I am now in a place that I am happy with. I have come to terms with marketing which I found daunting in the beginning, but which has proved to be a platform for meeting some wonderful people. I have enjoyed taking presentations to various groups on the coast and look forward to more in 2018.

This public speaking aspect of my writing has been completely unexpected, but is proving to be more pleasurable than I could have anticipated. Next year promises to be even busier with seven additional presentations being offered by the Sunshine Coast libraries and two more from Family History groups. Check out my speaking page to see the dates and locations. If you have ever wondered about turning your family history into interesting stories, then I’d love to catch up with you at one of my talks.

Of course, this has taken time away from actually writing stories, so that is one thing I want to focus on during 2018. With three projects in mind, I have set myself quite a challenge but that’s where my time planning will come into its own. We’ll see what the result is at the end of the year.

On books. Browsing the library shelves yesterday I was jolted into reality. Shock, horror! Is this book for real? As a child I was a loyal fan of Enid Blyton, as were so many youngsters. Special favourites were ‘The Famous Five’ books. So imagine my surprise when I noticed a book titled ‘Five give up the Booze’. I had to pick it up – surely Enid Blyton would never have written such a book? She would turn in her grave. Indeed this is a book written for adults by Bruno Vincent and I will add a synopsis for you. I can’t comment on the book as I haven’t read it and with the pile of books waiting for me during the summer holidays, I doubt if I will. But I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on such a take on old favourites. My main objection is the use of Enid Blyton’s name to catch the eye on the cover while

the real author appeared nowhere.

Enid Blyton's books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy confront a new challenge: give up the booze. Give up alcohol you say? Why, of course they can! Talk about an easy challenge! Five old friends set about this simple task and find all of a sudden that: the days are longer; they get to see each other for who they really are; the empty laughter of ordinary conversation is so much harder to fake. Yes, they're saving money and losing weight, but the world itself seems to take on a slow, dreary inevitability. Soon they begin to snap at each other, and then fight - until they begin to wonder, have the Five at last found the challenge that will defeat them? The perfect gift for anyone who has woken up and promised themselves that they will never drink again. At least until next weekend.

On that note, I’ll finish by thanking you for being with me through 2017 and sending you warmest wishes for a bright and happy Christmas. May the coming year bring you peace and good health. See you next year

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