Tuesday, 25 February 2014

23. Plans in Progress

I’m assuming you’ve survived Valentine’s Day. No doubt you’ve had your fill of chocolate (if there is such a thing). And by now you’ve farewelled the last petal in your bouquet of flowers or lamented having too much of that decadent dessert after a fabulous restaurant dinner as you admired your latest jewellery acquisition. Maybe you were fabulously spoiled by all those options or perhaps you celebrated in a completely different way. And just maybe, you celebrated simply by being with the people you love most, which is exactly what I did. :)

Some cool news came my way regrading a competition I won and placed third in last year. One or both entries will feature in an anthology in the coming months. I’m just a tad excited about that. I also achieved one of my plans (no resolutions here, remember) for the year and sent off a synopsis and sample chapters to a publishing company that was calling for unsolicited manuscripts as part of their Valentine’s celebrations. Trust me, I felt sick when I pressed the ‘enter’ key to send my entry on its way. Now the waiting game, (while working on the next story) begins.

The publisher I’ve approached asked for a 300-word synopsis. Now there’s a challenge – converting a 33,600-word novella down to a mere fraction. (Just imagine the progress of a complete novel.) I enjoyed the process which, given how often I’ve read that authors don’t like writing them, makes me wonder if I’ve done mine correctly. Clearly, I had too much fun. Perhaps when I’ve written more of them, I may feel the same, but there was something exciting about placing as much crucial content as possible into that tiny word count. I’ve also read it’s advisable to have a few synopses ready depending on a publisher’s request, so I have a 100-word challenge completed as well as one and two page samples to prepare. It’s all worthwhile if the synopsis works. :) Strangely enough, it’s the higher word counts that I’m finding more challenging.

To help release those nerves, I indulged in one of my favourite pastime – reading. :) (Okay, okay, indulging in one or two baked goodies managed to find its way in there too.) The lovely Ms Jenny Schwartz, who inspires and encourages me more than she probably realises, has captivated my imagination yet again.

It’s Love, Dude is a story about a couple who on the surface are two very different characters. Zane is an outgoing surfer who’s learned to live and thrive in the spotlight. Molly, on the other hand, is a shy, quiet woman who works behind the scenes for Jardin Bay’s political representative. Zane’s learned how to stand on his own after a rough childhood with only his grandfather’s influence as guidance. Molly’s caring nature ensures she stands up for those who can’t do it for themselves though she’s not too sure how to handle herself when the spotlight is on her. That contrast of strength and sweetness is what Zane finds so irresistible. She’s a refreshing change for the life he’s led. And while he starts the chase, it’s Molly who steps out of her comfort zone to follow his lead, first to the other side of Australia, and then to the other side of the world as she pursues her chance at happiness. Add to that the fact that they both have such strong family values and a growing commonality to protect both their community and a certain cute and cuddly critter known as a woylie (an endangered Australian marsupial) and you have the makings of a relationship that definitely works.

I love how honest Ms Schwartz’s characters are. There’s no game playing. They’re adults ready and willing, if perhaps a little uneasy, to pursue an adult relationship. They don’t compromise their morals or themselves, but they are always willing to work at their relationships and allow themselves to be vulnerable at that crucial moment. I also love how the woylie’s presence was weaved throughout the story and brought it full circle. I must also add how wondrous Jardin Bay (where the story is set) sounds and, fictional or not, I want to live there. And did I mention Zane has a brother? Stay tuned. I have to find out where Brodie fits into the scheme of things too. :)

You can find links to this story through Ms Schwartz’s page –


  1. Thank you for the lovely review, D. I'm so glad you enjoyed "It's Love, Dude" -- and yes, Brodie's story will be out soon. June, hopefully. I enjoyed writing his and Jessica's story so much that I could talk about it forever. I won't! but I have to share that in my mind I call it the "Billionaire Cinderella story".

    Woohoo! to the antho out in a few months. That's fab -- winning and being published all in one go. Over-achiever! ;)

    1. June! That's ages away. LOL

      You're welcome for the review and thank you for the cheers.