So, new beginnings…

Book one has been close to being finished so many times. Then the other day it hit me, if my two leads changed sexes, then it would be so much better!

It would, I know it would. The whole book would be so much better. Yet I’m not going to do it.

I’ve realised that if I keep amending and tweaking this book, then the rest of the series will never be written, let alone published. So, regardless of my latest brainwave, I’m going to hit that published button soon.

I’m in the process of doing preliminary edits. Then it’s off to the editor, and then the hunt for beta readers and building my mailing list will begin with a ferver.

So, wish me luck, and watch this space. I’ll be updating my process as I go, because, lets face it, you only release your first book once.

Hugs and kisses, Trixie.

Journey

The eucalyptus make such a susurration of sound, as of thousands of tiny dry tongues, all rasping against each other. The trees bend back and forth, swaying to the too-ing and fro-ing of the wind in the way of trees everywhere. Some act in harmony with the blow, bending more readily than others. A cracking sound accompanied by a drawn out screeching erupts, as wood rends against wood. A large branch, long dead but a moment ago still lofty in its position in the forest, finally plummets to its forever resting place with a crashing that temporarily stuns the forest creatures into silence; as if acknowledging the death. Ironically, the only three that disregard this final act, beings the trees themselves, their leaves and the wind.
The crickets all clicking their sonorous song roar back into life, although none appear to be in synchronisation at all.
Another rustling sound comes from the leaves at the feet of the giant gums. A monitor lizard scurries through, pauses then beats a hasty retreat. You’d think he’d forgotten to turn the iron off or something the way he whipped around and took off back the way he’d come. Something must have caught his eye back up the trail, for he was definitely going back to investigate.
Whip, whip; a bird chirrups, whilst another trills his song loud and long for all the world to hear, the sound pealing joyously back and forth up the sides of the valley. The sound so majestic it’s heart rending in its solitary beauty.
As if in response, loud laughter begins to peal around the valley. At first it comes from one throat, then two and finally three. Kookaburras’ all of them sounding like they’re having a great time of it. Their laughter almost drowning out every other sound in the valley.
Oblivious to anyone, be they listening or not, a flock of galahs go back to acting the fool; the colours of the pink and greys are so pretty. Calling out to one another as they flap about from branch to branch, some hanging upside down as they screech from time to time; all as if to say ‘look at me, look at me now!’ They’ve found a clearing by the creek; each of them using it as if it were an amphitheater, and them with a show to produce. Each try’s to outdo the other with their antics. One or two hoping around in the grassy clearing, looking for something to eat, but jumping around ludicrously – heads hopping and bopping, some in sync with their jumping, others not so much. One galah swoops low across their heads, screeching out to all as he flys so close to them, before coming to a screaming halt. Ludicrously he then plops down, rolling over onto his back, all the while making a tremendous racket.
A couple of magpies are also trolling through the grass in the little clearing. Busily looking for bugs and beetles and trying their best not to be drawn in by the tomfoolery of the galahs. It’s too much for one youngster, who hops over for a closer look. Immediately, he’s scolded by his parents. Even out of reach, the galahs also try to run him off. Usually it’s the magpies telling the galahs off, so it’s amusing to see.
The water puddles and gurgles along its bed, adding a softer tone to the cacophony. Bees, as if bumbling along to find out what all the gurgling is about, decide to pause awhile; coping a squat at waters edge and taking a sip in the cool shade.
A flash of green can be seen darting through the trees. There, and there, there it is again. Almost jewel-like, her colours flash as a Rosella flys back to the nest to feed her young. A second later the young ones are calling out for their feed, eager, knowing it’s imminent but impatient nonetheless.
It’s early morning here, and the world is just awakening. It’ll be a busy day as usual, the wildlife industrious in its daily habits, know enough to pause and enjoy the freshness of the morning.
A kangaroo hops and thumps its way through the clearing to the other side. He is massive. Another roo, much daintier than the first, although she’s fully grown, comes to a stop in the middle. Galahs flee to the tops of the trees, screeching and making much of the interruption, whereas the magpies continue their foraging. Everyone knows there’s no danger here, it’s just the galahs being…well, galahs.
The big roo stops at clearings edge under the trees and after standing on the tips of his toes and tail, sniffs the air and has a good look around. Deciding that this is a nice shady spot, he lays down. The female is still in the middle of the clearing, but where there had been one roo in the clearing a moment ago, now there’s two; for the dainty female has insisted on her joey leaving the pouch to join her in the sunshine. He does, and amusingly gambles about, as only a joey with little to no coordination can.
A crow calls out its maudlin caw, and another further down the valley responds. Their mournful calls continue for awhile, but slowly drop into the background.
I wish I could share the glory of this morning with you. For you too could hear the joy from their throats for yourself, see the beauty with your own eyes. But you’re obviously too busy, roaring down the road, passing us by, completely oblivious to all around you.
Oh, look there! It’s a gecko, banded red and pink, clinging to the side of the tree. It stepped out from between the bark and is licking its lips. I wonder if it’s in anticipation of the next meal, or if it just finished? I think I’ll watch, and find out for myself.
Enjoy your journey! I know I will enjoy mine.

The Ties That Bind

The Ties That Bind.

She walked along the tracks, the sun shimmering in the distance where the heat was radiating so much that everything seemed to be distorted, including the train station up ahead.

The tears rained down her face, smudging mascara, and putting rivulets within her makeup. The sobbing had stopped long ago, before she’d even reached the tracks. She was probably not even aware that still she cried.

Reaching the station she clambered up onto the platform and wandered over to the ladies toilets where she went in and washed all of her makeup off. Looking in the mirror she whispered to herself, “so what did you expect? Really? That he would profess his undying love for you, drop to his knees and propose?” Realising that this train of thought was not going to do anything other than realise another bout of crying, Boe washed her face once again, and drying it on the paper towels provided, straightened herself up, collected her suitcase and left the room.

Walking up to the ticket machine, she purchased one ticket – a one way ticket back to the city. The very last place on earth she wished to go. Moving over to the timetable on the wall Boe worked out that she had less than twenty minutes to wait before the next train would whisk her away from the town where she had never been any happier.

Boe walked over to one of the bench seats currently in the shade that looked out over the stations platform, and across the tracks. The view was so pretty. The station oversaw the main part of town. The part she thought, that was the prettiest. All the store fronts with their timbered board walks and pretty lace work in a myriad of soft pastel colours. Planter boxes in windows and baskets of flowers hanging from porches. It was such a beautiful town, and she couldn’t believe that she wanted to get as far away from it as possible.

It was Sunday though, so for the most part the stores were all closed, and the traffic was minimal. Sundays in Longview was always relaxed. Most people took off for the lake with families and friends at this time of the year. Swimming, boating and picnicking being the main past-times. Boe was so going to miss those times, especially with Luc.

She’d passed by the store and dropped a letter in through the letterbox telling her boss that she had to leave town suddenly, and that she wouldn’t be in on Wednesday like she usually was. Lucky for her she was only on casual wages – she didn’t have to wait and put in two weeks notice.

Once she got into the city, and home to her Mamma’s place, she would contact Janie and let her bestie know what had happened, where she was and that she was going to be okay. She knew she would be. She’d managed on her own before, she would again, at least this time she wouldn’t be alone for long.

Hearing a train in the distance she looked up and along the track, so she didn’t see him when he walked onto the platform through the station gate. Nor did she see the relief that crossed his face when he saw her still sitting there. Slowly he walked over to where she was, and sat down beside her on the bench. That’s when startled, she turned to face him. Before she could form any thought, let alone say a word, he took one of her hands in his and said, “forgive me Boetica. I didn’t think. I just reacted, and reacted badly at that. Please believe me when I say I love you, and I hope you will forgive me. That you will stay, and never ever leave me again.”

Boe looked into his eyes. They were warm and brown liquid pools of sorrow. He truly was sorry, she could see that but, “How can I? Why should I for that matter.” A spark of anger flashing across her face.

“It was wrong of me to react the way I did, and I can never undo the damage I did by leaving. But I hope you’ll give me the chance to try. When I came home after coming to my senses, and discovered you had packed and gone… a large part of me wanted to just curl up and die, and I realised that my heart is tied to you irrevocably, and that there is no way in the world I could ever live without you. Besides,” he said as, still clasping her hand he slid down onto the floor of the platform, and on bended knee said, “if you leave, I won’t get a chance to tell you every day how much I love you, or how sorry I am for screwing things up so badly. Marry me Boe, keep me bound to you forever. Allow me to love you and our baby the way I should, the way you deserve. Marry me, please.”

“Yes,” was all she said. Radiant now, a smile lit her face, because she knew that this was the right path for all of them. She knew it in her heart.

The Cemetery

I love to write. I also love reading, and anything else that provides me with some sort of escapism. It wouldn’t be stepping too far from the truth to say, that I was unique in my family in that way. My family are all doctors, lawyers, judges and the like. I don’t mean to be dismissive of them at all. I respect and admire all of them for what they do on a daily basis. They actually scare me senseless, family or no. But in my family? I’m the odd duck on the pond, or the ugly duck as it were.

Mother once told me that I wasn’t adopted and that I needed to pull my socks up a bit – this was after I’d written an essay at school on where I’d come from. My mother, being the literal being she is, took exception to the piece, even though I tried to explain that it was a piece of fiction only.

For the last few years I’ve been writing on and off. Never serious, just dabbling, doubting my ability – as you do. I’ve taken my bit’s and pieces of work and thrown it in a drawer to be left mouldering. I thought that, unlike wine it wouldn’t age well.

I had no idea at the time, how wrong I was.

You see there’s this rather new and novel way (no pun intended dear reader) for a person who has the time, talent and conviction to obtain all of the assistance that once could only be found in a publishing house, all online. You can actually publish yourself if you have the drive and do the research. It was doing the research that had me end up here, as an acclaimed writer and now published, I can also say author.

Let me go back a bit first though, so you understand where I’m coming from. You see some time ago now I was, what I now term ‘unconventionally’ fired from my longterm position, and fired in a rather spectacular way. I was a loyal employee and believed that I would either retire or die before I left. I was accused of doing something I had not, and found wanting was ‘asked’ to leave. It was such a shock, for not only was I wrongly accused, I had never been fired from a job before. I had received raises, secondments and been head-hunted, but never fired. It was just before Christmas, and my family at the time, relied heavily on my income. It truly was not a good time for either my family or myself.

Approximately one week later, and heavily depressed – it was only a few days before Christmas Day, and for the first time since leaving work, I found myself alone at home. Feeling completely devastated by the circumstances I found myself in, and wallowing in self-pity – something I was unfamiliar with – I did the only thing that would make me happy – I grabbed my iPad, closed my eyes for a minute, and then began to write… the words flowed from me. I wrote a story. I have no idea how long I wrote for, but at the completion of that story, I found myself lighter of heart, and with a sense of satisfaction inside of me. I put the story in a drawer and within fifteen minutes my home was inundated with loved ones, and the story itself was completely forgotten.

Until about two weeks later when I was cleaning.

It was a lovely sunny day, and I’d been cleaning house for most of the morning, and decided that I needed a break. I grabbed my iPad and made myself a cuppa. I took my cup outside into our sunny courtyard, where I sat and browsed through my iPad.

I spotted the story I’d written, stunned that I could have forgotten it in such a short time.

I started to read.

I can remember my daughter Brianna finding me there sometime later. It truly was a beautiful day. I can also clearly remember how stunned I was, and that I could not have possibly written what I had just read – only I knew that I had. Brie asked me what ever was the matter with me, with a smile on her face and in her voice. I looked at her for a minute, and she said quite clearly too me, “Mum, you’re scaring me now. What is it?”

“Nothing, baby-girl. Just something I just read. Would you like a cuppa? I’m just about to make myself a fresh one.”
“I’d love one Mum.”
“Fine, how about you have a seat here, I’ll make us both a cuppa and be back in a minute. Oh, have a read of this. I want to know what you think of it.”
“Do I have too?”
“No,” I laughed, “of course you don’t. But I think you might like it, and as I said, I’d like your opinion. It’s just there, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Grabbing my cup, I went back into the kitchen. I joined Brie in the courtyard where she was avidly devouring my words. It made me smile.

I sat there with the sun shinning, enjoying my cuppa and waited.

“Oh my God Mum, this is fantastic,” she said. “Who’s the author, what’s the name of the book, I really want to read it.”

I sat there, I’m sure, with my mouth open, and then I gave a short laugh.

“What do you mean who’s the author. You know who wrote it!” I declared. It was at this point that I thought that having given her my iPad to read it on was perhaps not the best idea, as obviously she had cotton’ed on to the fact that I had, in fact, written it myself. I thought my girl was playing with me. How little did I know.

“Seriously Mum, who wrote it?”

Once again I just stared at her, for once completely at a loss for words. slowly contemplating the idea that perhaps she didn’t know.

“Mum?” I could tell my baby was now beginning to get annoyed with me, and the idea crept into my head that perhaps she truly didn’t realise that I had written it.

“You mean you really don’t know?” I asked.

“Now why would I ask if I knew?” she said clearly irritated.

Fair enough, I thought. Well here goes nothing. “Umm, I wrote it Brie.”

“You what?”

“I wrote it.” Once again that big grin of mine just plastered it across my face, because all of a sudden I realised, my girl had just confirmed that what I had read, was every bit as good as I thought it was.

For the next hour, there was much discussion held in our courtyard.

Suffice to say after that my husband read it, then my sister-in-law, my best friend and, well it took a fair amount of convincing, but eventually I began to realise that truly, I had nothing to lose. I just had to get it out there for others to read, a quote that I stole from my daughter by the way.

Seriously, I do believe in the end I published it just to stop my family and friends from harassing me.

I was lucky that I had been born of an age where information on publishing was only a click away. I did much research over the next few months all the while, honing my story and craft. I had nothing else to do, so I figured why not. In doing my research I realised one very pertinent fact, that I had access to millions upon millions of people. All I had to do was locate a beta team to read the manuscript objectively, an editor (because during that period I discovered I can edit others works, but not my own), an artist to make the beautiful cover that you’ve seen on my novel, and the most marvelous piece of research of all? I came across the most fascinating piece of information that effected me personally – that an ancestor of mine who passed away in 1849 and who, yes was a doctor, was also a published writer of that time in the west.

The artist in me no longer felt alone within the family.

I was lucky enough to visit him this time last year not long after I discovered his existence. I am rather a tactile person, and really felt the need to connect with him. I took with me flowers from my garden which I placed upon his grave in thanks. For his very existence as a writer in the family before me, gave me the final impetuous that I needed. It gave me faith at the time that was much needed, and today I was back to thank my ancestor for the faith and hope he had given me, and to share with him and celebrate my hitting the number one spot on Amazon for my genre. True, there were other people in my family that had helped me get here. But this family member deserved more from me than a mere thought.

I removed the dusty and now pale flowers that I’d placed on his grave last year, and replaced them with a fresh bunch of flowers – once again from my garden. He knew I was there, I could feel it. He also knew I’d be back again next year… for I knew now that there would be other stories to tell him about, and I knew he would appreciate being included in the family once again.

Family, and those that inspire us should never be forgotten.

The End.

Inspired.

I was lucky enough today to have received an email informing me about a blog by one Neil Ostroff. After doing a quick scan of the email (as you do), I was interested enough to have followed the link to his blog. Suffice to say I learnt so much from that one blog that it blew me away.
I realised that I’m not alone in writing the way that I do, that it’s okay to write the book and then edit it over a period of months all still without an ending in sight!
Only last night was I editing my book once again, and at the back of my mind was the eternal exercise wheel for hamsters churning around, with the same thoughts going through my head that have been there for a long time now. Will I ever finish this book? Will it ever be good enough? Should I just put it in a drawer and forget about it (tried that one by the way, it didn’t work). I haven’t even finished it yet! And so on, and so forth.
So to read on his blog that he himself never has the ending, even after months of editing and tightening up what he has already written was such a relief.
So, I must remember to send Neil a quick ‘thank you’ if I ever do finish it, and publish it too.
Smiling now, my heart is a happy place. May yours be so too!

An Interview with Verna Hargrove (aka Summmer Lee)

Okay, ‘bare with’ as my girl would say! I’m still new to this wonderful world of blogging.

Loving my family and friends, and books and authors, there are things that I want to share with you from time to time – also, in pleasing them, I also please myself. So, this wonderful interview is something that I wish to share with you for obviously a whole raft of reasons.

I hope you find it insightful and inspiring as I did.

Here is an interview with Verna Hargrove (aka Summmer Lee).