Tuesday, 5 February 2013

09. My Summer Break

I apologise for my tardiness but the cantankerous weather and the petulant internet weren't in any hurry to let me update my blog. (Though having the transmitter blow off its tower during the worst of ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald’s erratic soiree down the Queensland coast may have had something to do with the latter). Therefore, I wish you a belated Happy New Year and hope my fellow Aussies enjoyed their Australia Day celebrations despite some of them being very wet, wild and windy and in some cases, far worse.

I want to personally thank as well as praise the professional and volunteer workers who often risked their own safety to help others. I hope everyone else assisted these marvellous people by being responsible for their own actions and safety. It’s one hell of a clean-up job, but I’m sure we’ve all seen that tireless Aussie spirit shine through time and time again.

On a less formal note, for most of the summer break I’ve dedicated my time to the family. But to be honest, I’ve cheated. Those ‘internal voices’ are very insistent about having their stories told. Fortunately for me, the external voices (aka the family) are, for the most part, quite capable of taking care of themselves from time to time. I’ve entered a few competitions and managed to jot down a couple of chapters for my current work in progress without the family dynamic suffering too greatly.

As luck would have it, I’ve also found time to read. J

Annie West’s ‘Girl in the Bedouin Tent’ was brilliant. I love how her heroine managed to retain her inner strength and dignity despite her dire situation before the hero managed to save the day. In truth, I use that last phrase loosely because really, they saved each other. As much as I love strong female characters, I love the sense of equality between the heroine and hero even more. Ms West – your books are on my list. J And for those who haven’t managed to find them yet -

Another book I read was a collection of memoirs, short stories and novel extracts by Margaret Sutherland – A Quintessential Love Affair. At one point, I had to put down the book and walk away. The resonation with one memoir in particular tugged ruthlessly at my heartstrings and I needed several moments to compose myself. To me, to evoke such a strong emotion, is powerful writing indeed. Beautiful work, Ms Sutherland. J Her website is as follows -

My current read is a book I discovered in my mid-teens. Long before the 50 Shades phenomena took the world by storm, there was LACE by Shirley Conran. As I sneak in a chapter here and there, immediately I remember the titillation, the intrigue and the somewhat morbid fascination I had over the experiences the four main characters endured. Happiness, grief, lust, love, betrayal – it unfolded through the pages as though I lived each teenage girl’s life. Now that I’m reading it as a more experienced woman (hey, I can hear you laughing...), it’s quite amazing how my reaction to this story has changed. I question their actions, their feelings and their motivations instead of taking them for granted, and yet, it takes little thought to remember what that naivet√© felt like. It’s also of great comfort to be able to greet a preloved book like an old friend, don’t you think?

And last, but by no means least, I get to brag about my fantastic new banner. I cannot thank Helen of HELZKAT Designs enough for creating this for me. All I did was mention the emotion I wanted to evoke with my banner and Helen came back with a multitude of designs from which to choose. Believe me, it was not an easy task. I wanted all of them. Helen was also incredibly easy to work with as well as being a very talented lady. Not only does she do web designs, she also writes wonderful stories. If you’re interested in any of her work whether it’s her designs or her writing, this is where you’ll find her.

Once again Helen, thank you so much. J

Now, I have a book to finish, competition outcomes to brood over and of course, since the vertically challenged people in the house are back at school, stories to write. J


  1. Hi Danni, I'm so glad you love your banner. It was a fun project to work on. And thank you for the kind remarks. You were easy to work with.

  2. You're most welcome, Helen. Thank you for giving my vision 'life'. :)

  3. Danni, it sounds like you've had an interesting time over the summer break, one way and another. I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed 'Girl in the Bedouin Tent' enough to talk about it on your blog. Grinning down here in NSW...

  4. I'm grinning here too, Annie. Thank you for taking the time to comment. :)