Sapphires, and Stories

I was really interested today to read on Facebook that Imogene Nix has a new release out, called: A Sapphire For Karina.

The sapphire was the jewel used in the Romance Writers of Australia 2013 Little Gems anthology. I know, because I entered a story in the Little Gems competition too. Stories for Little Gems had to be 3000 words maximum and the ‘sapphire’ had to feature somewhere in the story. Imogene said on Facebook that she has “reworked, expanded the scenes and decided to self publish” A Sapphire For Karina.

My Little Gems’ sapphire story was called Fairway To Heaven, and in the story, the Sapphire related to a brand of golf clubs, Cobra Sapphires.


One of three judges rated my story in the 90s, but it didn’t sit so well with the other two. The important thing though, I loved it. It was my first foray into writing with a first person point of view, and in present tense.

When I scrapped ‘the book that will never be written’ (see previous post), it was to Fairway To Heaven I turned for inspiration. In the last fortnight, I’ve done more actual fingers on keyboard writing time than I’ve managed since May, when The Goodbye Ride novella released.

Now I’m getting a feel for what screenwriters and authors do when they’re adapting story ideas. I’m having fun creating the characters, scenes and conflicts for what was a 3000-word story, out to something that should become a full-length contemporary romance of around the 80,000 word mark.

Someday soon, I intend to post the original version of Fairway To Heaven on this site… although I must admit after a few Facebook chuckles whenever I mention this title, I’m contemplating changing this for my novel to The Sweetest Swing…

If you’d like to make a vote on the title – you’re most welcome!




Marketing and promotion, News

Everything’s Falling Into Place

Regular visitors will know that the beginning of 2013 has been filled with new starts for me.

We moved interstate three weeks ago to Margaret River in Western Australia (the perfect place for wine, surf and romance!); and in March, my debut book gets published with Escape Publishing.

All of which is good!

But I’m ticking a few more boxes at the moment:

  • I’ve found a rental house so we can stop squatting at my sister’s place. She’s made us enormously welcome and it’s been a great time, but it’s a VERY long holiday to have four boys under eight running around and three adults, for what will be close to six weeks. I’ve had a lesson in a lot of the ‘modern’ toys here, like Wii’s, iPods, ‘Trashies’ and ‘Skylanders’ – I can hear you laughing Kylie Kaden! My eldest boy is obsessed with Skylanders, particularly Tree Rex!
  • On the writing front, my current WIP (Goodbye River Road), is getting very close to being finished. This is my first attempt at a Novella, and I started it for a competition I saw with Carina Press called ‘Holidays and Harleys’. It is due to be submitted by March 1, and the timing was always going to be tight. I’ve actually been writing a lot here, particularly at night after the kids have gone to bed. It’s good… my writing lets my sister & her hubby get on with whatever they want to be doing, without feeling they have to make conversation with me… They have a lot of rooms here too, so I can set up my laptop in a quiet spot most of the time (once the four terrors are tucked away in bed). Many times, my wonderful sister even offers me wine as I write… ahhh, that’s bliss!
  • I have an entry into the Little Gems competition, Sapphires. I’ve seen the most evocative cover for RWA’s Little Gems this year, I think it’s gorgeous. I’d love if my entry, called Fairway To Heaven, makes the cut!
  • Last on the writing front, I am part of Escape Publishing’s promotion, A Love Story. 30 Escape authors contributing to a love story over 30 days. My entry is on March 5. I have 200 (or so) words to continue the story of Cormac and Laura… So far, she’s rocked up with the key to the wrong apartment and surprised a gorgeous man clad only in a towel; and they’ve already been shot at! You can catch up with it here.

A Love Story

And in all this, I’ve also started a ‘real’ job this week, an administration/reception job for a real estate company. At least, I thought it was reception/administration but then I got my name-tag and that says, sales and marketing co-ordinator… so I am a wearer of many hats!

And in March… those hats shall include, AUTHOR!

(Yes, it’s worth writing that in bold!!)


Some days are diamonds

Have you ever been driving around, and you see the car bumper sticker: Magic Happens?

Half of us probably think: “Yes, it does!”… I have no doubt the other half think: “Yeah. So does shit.”

Well. I had a diamond of a day yesterday where magic happened.

During the week something (I’m not sure what) motivated me to check out the RWA Contest info and particularly, the Little Gems contest for short stories. I’ve never written a short story, unless you want to count something about Dick and Dora and them finding a long-lost cat. Little Gems stories are max 3000 words and this year’s theme is Sapphires. So a sapphire has to feature somewhere.

I sat down to watch the start of the Hobart cricket test (yes, procrastinating again from my WIP and blaming cricket). It was raining and the start was delayed and so I wandered into the computer room.

This whisper of an idea for Little Gems had been swirling in my mind. The kids were being beautifully behaved and happy drawing (and playing Sharp Tooth – which is my youngest son’s version of Dinosaur games), and I just sat down at the computer and everything flowed. By 11am, I was already half-way to my 3000 words and I’d reread them a few times.

About that time, my eldest son started asking about a trip to the playground. Because the muse was flowing, I was tempted to say, “later mate”… but then I changed my mind and we all traipsed down to the playground. It was a fast traipse because my three-year-old took off on me and my five-year-old (appropriately dressed in his Superman suit) and I had to catch him before the road. (And the little bugger is getting fast!) We had a great hour down at the local school playground and oval.

Then it was back for lunch and I sat down again to write and by about 2 or 3pm, I’d finished 3000 words, with another couple of read-throughs. By 4 o’clock. I was calling it finished. I even flagged it on Facebook.

Cate Ellink wrote back that if: “everyone had days like that, everyone would be a writer.” She’s right. I told my husband about my day this morning (he works Saturdays). I even let him read the story – which is the first time he’s read anything I’ve written. Getting 3000 words in a day and feeling like they’re good – it’s gold. There are days I write nothing, and days I do worse than nothing (write crap that gets deleted).

One of the things I struggle with is balancing being a mum with my writing. Sometimes I have these magic days, like yesterday, when I feel like I’ve achieved what I want to achieve, and my kids have had a good day too. We finished the day by picking zucchinis (I have a bumper crop) and delivering them up the road to friends where the kids had a play.

It was only much later, when I switched on the Channel 7 news and saw the dramas of another mass shooting in America, that the rest of the world broke in upon my dreamy little bubble. I don’t know the answers. I don’t begin to understand the politics of their problem. But I so hope they can find a way.