Today hails the start of the September school holidays. For those of you past having kids of school age, this won’t necessarily cause a bump on your road. Except, perhaps, if you’re a grey nomad travelling around and all of the sudden everywhere you want to go is booked out, jam packed with screaming kids or even – woe forbid – the local Dan Murphy’s or IGA has sold of out of your favourite wine (#mumsinneedofliquidtheraphy).
All I can say is thank goodness, winter is nearly behind us. After the warmth of the Pilbara, this time last year, I can categorically say, ‘I loath and detest the southern winter.’ I am currently dreaming of sun and nice days. Thankfully I have been noticing the wattle is going mad, blazing a brilliant gold in both our paddocks and along the sides of the roads. This usually hails the impending arrival of Spring but I will be having some strong words with the weather if it doesn’t come true with that promise. I NEED SOME WARMTH UP HERE ON MY HILL!
With pressing family and farm commitments, I’ve had to take a hiatus from the book world to concentrate on my loved ones. I’ve also had to reassess all my commitments – writing, family & farm – and thus my new book LAKE HILL is now slated for a 2017 Mother’s Day release rather than Christmas. I wanted to make this the very best novel I could, for your ultimate reading enjoyment, and needed more time to craft this wonderful story that I so want to share with you.
Oh my Gosh. I think winter has finally hit our hills with a vengeance. The thickness of the frost on the ground yesterday morning had us thinking it had snowed! I could only cringe on behalf of my poor Jacaranda Tree snug under it’s super-bag (top) and layers of mulch (bottom) and send a prayer up to the heavens it wasn’t going to take affront at the cold and curl up and die. Due to us living beside a huge lake, we don’t generally get severe frosts here, but as the lake is currently very low, it was Jack Frost’s turn to get even.
We’re a pretty lucky family. Creativity abounds, be it in song, words on a page, handiwork, metal work, woodwork, jewellery making or even via the lens of a camera.
It was the images taken by our eldest son, Brent, which caused the latest creative hullabaloo. While his mother was labouring away trying to give birth to her fifth full-length novel (seventh if you count the novella’s), this lad was up on a nearby rock peak, taking photos of the sunset with his iPhone.
And what photo’s they were.
I’m not a big fan of housework, but in saying that, I adore a clean and orderly house. (Admin: Some of us have learnt to live without one if it means avoiding housework....) If things are where they are supposed to be and the kitchen floor doesn’t resemble a chook pen (that photo, incidentally is not our house!), it helps me at least ‘feel’ like there is some semblance of normality about our crazy household.
These last few weeks have been head down and bottom up with me writing very, very hard. There have been early mornings and long days at the computer with lots of cups of Earl Grey provided by H, while late afternoons are filled with “kid runs” to dancing, swimming, netball and myriad of other pressing motherly and farming chores. And cooking. Yes, there is always baking to be done!
Where is April going? Seriously? Not only have the kids been on school holidays, I’m trying to finish my next novel, LAKE HILL and the farm jobs are piling up like dirty laundry. The only way I manage to get any writing done (particularly when the kids are home) is to go back to the “good old days” and keep dairy farming hours ie. - roll out of bed by 5am.
Alas, all my wonderful and supportive readers, this year I won't have a stand at the Lardner Park Farm Field days. This is something I am very sad about as I love catching up with you all and hearing all the news! But there's a darn good reason as the hugely exciting update is I'm very busily writing a new novel! LAKE HILL should be published by the wonderful Random House just in time for Christmas! So, if you enjoy my books, and love a novel to read over the holidays, you've already got something to put on your 2016 Christmas list!
Amid 40 degree heat (with NO air conditioning I might add) we partied our way through the first family Christmas celebration yesterday. It was so much fun, with lots of laughter and jokes being shared around the Christmas tree and dinner tables.
That was AFTER they’d all managed to slog their way down the drive and negotiate the electrified bungy cord gateway keeping the cattle from entering the house yard. My brother-in-law from Brisbane (all 6’2” of him) was the only one who rang me from 100 metres away. ‘Ummm … this gateway? How do I open it?’