The Last Day of Autumn 2015

This week I enrolled in the Australian Writers Centre online Anatomy of a Crime – How to Write About Murder e-course and I completed the first module last night. I have to say, crime isn’t usually my thing and it’s been interesting even with the little research I did last night for the course, just how uncomfortable I am delving into the whole murder thing.  As I read through some of the examples and watched some of the You Tube footage on serial killing, I had one of those “I don’t want to watch but I can’t look away” reactions. What draws me in is not the end product, as in the crime but more so the psychology behind why the perpetrator commits the offence.

I’m about to embark on the first writing exercise and I think my discomfort is a good thing.I’m reaching beyond my comfort zone. It’s a complete polar swing from writing children’s stories but I’m curious to see what comes out of me. I’m keen to explore other writing spaces I’ve never dabbled in before. Who knows what will transpire? It’s part of the never ending learning curve.

Here’s the link to the course – see what you think…I have to say – I’m more than intrigued already…

http://www.writerscentre.com.au/all-courses/anatomy-of-a-crime/


It’s  been a big “Lists” weekend. I had a four page list to chew through and managed to get about three quarters done. I LOVE lists. I get so much more done with a list opposed to having it all rattling around in my brain.

samsleepinMoo on bed

There’s been lots of reading and hanging out with the “kids” and a little bit of dabbling with some paints – enter Lovely Fox posed up above. I do believe her name could be Fifi. Dabbled in some herb planting ready for winter cooking and generally had an all round great weekend.

 

 

9780143572381(1)On the reading front – I started reading Fiona McIntosh’s new book ‘How to Write Your Block Buster’. It’s such an interesting read and I’m learning so much and changing my ways already. Discipline Rules! My Books to Read pile is ever expanding, so I am grateful for the colder nights we are beginning to have that beg me to head to bed earlier to settle in for a good read. Winter is upon us and I am happy.

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May 24th, 2015

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Finally, there is a chill in the Brisbane air. It seems an eternity of steamy hot days and uncomfortable nights have plagued us into the beginnings of Autumn. But now, nearing the end of May, the real Autumn has just stood up. I love Autumn in Brisbane. The big blue clean sky, the nip in the air, the syrupy warmth the sun pours out in the middle of the day. And the doonah is finally on the bed. It’s the perfect weather for creating.

The knitting needles have reappeared after a year long sabbatical in the cupboard, the deck is ablaze with beautiful potted colour, and the urge to write and read great books has curled in my lap like a favourite pet that has returned home after a long trip away. 

It has been a week of giving and receiving. I had the pleasure of gifting a painting to one of our lovely vet nurses, who has looked after my babies so well over the years. With a bit of secret squirrelling, I painted her beautiful animals into a nursery scene and made her a bunting and softie to go with it. I also received some beautiful hand made candles from a lovely friend and they smell divine! I am so grateful.

Speaking of gratitude, this past week, I have returned to the meditation cushion. I have been doing Vishen Lakhiani’s Envisioning Method. Vishen is the founder of Mind Valley and I love his technique. You can find more about it here:

http://mindvalleyacademy.com/featured/how-to-meditate

This week I finished Holly Goldberg Sloan’s ‘I’ll Be There’. I adored this book and will be following it up with the sequel, ‘Just Call My Name’. In the meantime, I have started reading her ‘Counting by 7s’. This book received great reviews so I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into it this weekend.

I also started Murray Middleton’s short story collection, ‘When There’s Nowhere Else To Run’. This book was the winner of The Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award. His writing is so engaging. I come out of each story feeling like I have met new friends. His stories linger, and I often find myself thinking back and wondering about the characters I have left behind. 

Another reading highlight this week was the arrival of Magpies Magazine, which is full of reviews on books for children. It comes out five times a year and it’s lovely to bury myself in the childrens book world and discover all the latest gems.

As for my own book, it’s been languishing a little as the paints and ink pens have hit the desk and I am illustrating again. With plans to redo my website soon, I am conjuring new illustrations to decorate all that white space. I have a plan and once the artwork is done, my story will be back on the front boiler again and come next week, I should see the story simmering away nicely again. I’ve just rolled over the 15,000 word mark, so onward and upward. 

Among the books and mags and snippets of writing, there has been autumn flowers and hearty food liberally sprinkled throughout the past week or so. My favourite recipe this week was a chicken and zucchini soup I made. My recipe is here:

Chicken and Zucchini Soup

3 chicken thigh fillets – chopped but not too small

Celery chopped to braise

Carrot chopped to braise

1 onion chopped to braise

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 green chilli

1 litre of chicken stock

4-5 zucchinis chopped

(You can add any veggies you like)

Sprinkle of salt

Teaspoon of curry powder

Butter

Method

On a mid heat in a large pot – braise chopped celery, onion and carrot in butter until onion is translucent. Add in garlic and stir for a minute.

Add in chicken and cook 1-2 minutes.

Add stock, chopped zucchini, curry powder and salt and  mix well. Cook on mid heat for 5 minutes or so and then turn heat down a little. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and zucchinis are soft then simmer. Add some corn or maize flour to thicken. 

To serve: I don’t puree this soup. I prefer it chunky and so mix it all together well once I have added the maize flour. 

Add a dollop of sour cream to serve. 

Enjoy!