Saturday, 31 March 2012

It's The Weekend




Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Phew!  Saturday sure went fast.  I spent the day on household chores and catching up on my volunteer duties as Registrar for the local swimming club.
Winter Season Wind Up is on Wednesday and I needed to print out certificates and get the Records up-to-date.
I've been part of the swimming club for twelve years, ever since my children were members.  My children are now adults but I volunteer my time to help things run smoothly.
These days most organisations and schools struggle to attract volunteers because parents are so busy.  But who isn't?
I have always done some type of volunteering - beginning at the local playgroup before my children went to school.  I then volunteered at the school - in the classroom and in the canteen.  While my children were in primary school I also volunteered at the local community centre and the historical society.
And then it was the swimming club.
I believe volunteering in the community gives me a sense of achievement and I keep in touch with local people.
It's so easy to leave jobs for others but why not help?  Go against the 'I want' attitude and go for the 'I give'.
I gladly gave up my Saturday this weekend and will enjoy a well-earned break tomorrow.  It's Sunday!  Sleep in!

Friday, 30 March 2012

It's Here!

Well, it's finally here!  Yes, Autumn has arrived.
We even had some rain last night.  It's been a lovely day with cool breezes and sporadic sunshine.
My whinging must have paid off.


Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net
















Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Autumn Musing

Australia is a great country but I'm over the hot weather.  It's supposed to be autumn.  The mornings begin cool enough but then it heats up. And where is the rain we were meant to have? Not in Western Australia that's for sure.  Over east they've had floods!

I've lived in the same area all my life.  I know, that's a little sad, but I have to admit, I love it here.  My home town still has a country feel about it and we are central to the city of Perth in the north and the city of Bunbury in the south.  Not to mention our proximity to both the ocean in the west and the bush (forest) in the east.  We have it all really.

I just wish the weather would do what it's supposed to do.  You know, change.

<Sigh> I guess I'll be whinging about the cold soon enough.  Yes, it can get cold here.

I live opposite a school, and I can still remember seeing the poor Japanese exchange students huddled together one morning a few years ago.  It was freezing!  I bet they thought Australia was warm.  They should visit now.

    Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, 26 March 2012

Time to Dream


The days are never long enough it seems.  Why is that?  Is it because we are so busy?  Is it because we are getting older and are trying to cram so much into our days before we are too old?

I remember the long days of childhood.  Wondering what to do next.  Being bored.  The hours stretching before us.

Now it’s go, go, go.  Doing this and that.  Filling every waking moment.

It would be nice to slow everything down.  To enjoy the day.  To have no clocks.  No place to be.  To let the days flow.  Unlimited hours. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more time to dream?

Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Promise by Jeanette Hornby


It was night
She lay dying
Her strength ebbing away

He sat
Holding her in his arms
Praying

But the struggle
was too much to bear
and she slowly slipped away

He cried then
His tears falling on her
soft, white skin

She was so beautiful
with fiery hair in curls
Her features like porcelain

How would he live without her?

“I’ll follow you wherever you go”
he promised
And held her till morning

She watched from another place
and saw his black hair
as it fell in waves
over his collar
She saw him holding her
She heard his promise

Another place
Another time
Their eyes met
and two souls rekindled

But circumstances
were changed
He fought his memories
of hurt and pain
Kept them at a distance

She was confused
She saw the love in his eyes
but he remained aloof
uncaring
hurting
Breaking his promise

And so she moved on
and tried to laugh
Hiding her pain
behind her smile

How could he forget?

The years rolled on
Memories lost
Submerged in façade
Her pain intense
The yearning too great
to ever be dismissed

The promise lay
open and bare
The decay creeping in
Erasing any hope
of renewal

She was lifeless
Her strength slowly
ebbing away
Her heart shattered
like the promise he broke.


Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Friday, 23 March 2012

Journey of Many Lifetimes


     I’ve never believed that this ‘is all there is’.   I was raised a Catholic and was taught there was always something more.  That when you died you went to Purgatory, Heaven or Hell. 
     As an adult I am no longer a practicing Catholic.  I don’t believe in organised religion.  This probably has something to do with the ill-treatment I received from the nuns as a child.  I do, however, believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Not once did Jesus judge another but taught love, forgiveness and charity.  That’s my type of man.
     What most people don’t realise is that Jesus was a teacher of metaphysics.  He preached about the ‘something more’ – life after death.
     The tragedy of his existence was that not many were willing to accept a new way of thought.
     Today, things are different, and there are many ‘new-age’ philosophies and teachers.
     This brings me to my experience with reincarnation. 
     In a previous post I mentioned that I can recall some of my past lives.  This is true and came about when I was in a very ‘dark’ place in my life.
     As I struggled to find my way out of the black pit, as I call it, I used many ‘new-age’ techniques.  I became familiar with meditation, reiki, and other forms of healing.  I also participated in inner-child and past-life therapy which sought to get to the root of my problems.  There is no miracle cure for depression and anxiety.  You have to take it step-by-step.
     I was also seeing a psychologist – a conventional therapist, but ironically, it was her treatment – called ‘rapid-eye movement’ therapy that triggered my past-life memories.
     Sure, I had ‘seen’ some of my lives during ‘new-age’ therapy sessions, but nothing as poignant or revealing as those in ‘normal’ therapy.
     After my first ‘rapid-eye movement’ session, I began having ‘dreams’ of other lives.  I always knew it was me in these dreams and surprisingly I knew the ‘others’ in the dreams as well.  People in the present were also in my past.  I could see, quite vividly, the surroundings, the people and the situations.  I could also ‘feel’ the emotions – emotions that were similar to those I was experiencing in the present time.
     Do you ever get a feeling of déjà vu?  Feel you ‘click’ with someone?   Feel as if you’ve known someone forever?  
     I believe nothing’s a coincidence.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Candy's Man


I'm almost at the end of the editing stage for my first Sexy Romance novel so I thought I'd share the blurb.  Let me know what you think.

Candy's Man Blurb.

The moment Candace (Candy) Walker steps foot on a cruise ship, she begins a journey that will turn her world upside down.  Recently divorced, the last thing Candy seeks is a serious relationship.  She meets a sexy American stranger, throws all propriety out the window, and then relegates their passionate encounter to a holiday ‘fling’.

On arrival back in Sydney, Australia, Candy doesn’t know all hell is about to break loose until she meets her new ‘boss’, but that is the least of her problems. 

Cleve Hammond is a man with a secret, and Candy is a complication he does not expect nor want.  Or so he tells himself.  When his twin brother, Nash, becomes embroiled in the situation, Cleve begins to question his feelings.

The emotions stirring within him may jeopardise everything he has worked so hard to conceal.  He can't afford to let down his guard after what happened in his past but Candy seems to be getting under his skin. 

As for Candy, she must begin to wade through the ensuing chaos of Nash's affections and her twin sister’s unexpected arrival on her doorstep.  But perhaps her biggest challenge is letting go of her past once and for all, and learning to trust again.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Cover

I wanted to share a book cover with you.  What mostly appealed to me was its simplicity in getting its message across.  What do you think?


Great book by the way.  I enjoyed 'Heavenly' and bought the sequel 'Penitence'.  There's another in the series I believe - 'Absolution' - that is on my To-Be-Read list.  With so many great books and authors, it's a long list.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

FAREWELL by Anne Brontë

Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.
O, beautiful, and full of grace!
If thou hadst never met mine eye,
I had not dreamed a living face
Could fancied charms so far outvie.

If I may ne'er behold again
That form and face so dear to me,
Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
Preserve, for aye, their memory.

That voice, the magic of whose tone
Can wake an echo in my breast,
Creating feelings that, alone,
Can make my tranced spirit blest.

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
My memory would not cherish less; --
And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
Nor mortal language can express.

Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
The hope with which I cannot part.
Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
But still it lingers in my heart.

And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
May answer all my thousand prayers,
And bid the future pay the past
With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Something More.

I have to tell you that I’m not ‘normal’, though I’m not sure what the term actually means.  Who defined ‘normal’ anyway?


I’ve always had a sense of being different even from a young age.  I never seemed to fit into the family structure and was never one of the ‘popular’ girls.
At one point in my life when everything had gone topsy-turvy, I began to search ‘within’.  In doing so I unearthed more than I bargained for.  I began to remember my past-lives. 
Reincarnation had always interested me.  I had read tales of reincarnation in my teens and found them fascinating.  Little did I know that these ‘stories’ would find a way into my reality.
After much soul-searching and ‘new-age’ therapies, the memories came.  They are not complete memories of a lifetime but mere snippets, images of other times and places, and quite vivid. 
It took me a while to grasp the significance of my experiences but I realised I was lucky to know these things.  To remember so many lives and situations is like living many lives simultaneously.
I guess that’s why I turned to writing.  I had so many stories to tell.  But writing also offered a sanctuary.  Something that was entirely mine, and I could make my ‘world’ anything I wanted to.
I hope to keep sharing my many different stories for a long time to come.

Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net






Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Poem

I Carry Your Heart With Me
i carry your heart with me
i carry it in my heart
i am never without it
anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling
i fear no fate
for you are my fate, my sweet
i want no world
for beautiful you are my world, my true
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart
—-E. E. Cummings

Pictures:FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, 9 March 2012

Loss of a Friend

Heavenly Grass
By Tennessee Williams

My feet took a walk in heavenly grass.
All day while the sky shone clear as glass.
My feet took a walk in heavenly grass,
All night while the lonesome stars rolled past.
Then my feet come down to walk on earth,
And my mother cried when she give me birth.
Now my feet walk far and my feet walk fast,
But they still got an itch for heavenly grass.
But they still got an itch for heavenly grass
.

   I lost a friend today.   As he had been ill for a very long time it was expected, but the loss still cuts to the core.
   I feel that a friend of your youth is indeed a special kind of friend.   There can be no pretence, no airs or graces because they know you and you know them.   The very heart of them.
   When we were younger my friend had a nickname for me.   Today, I found myself humming a song that echoed that nickname.   It brought a tear to my eye.
   I’ve lost friends before and it doesn’t get any easier.   It does, however, make you appreciate the friends that remain.
   An email arrived only minutes ago and it contained a line that read - ‘To realize the value of a friend:LOSE ONE’.
   It is a poignant reminder to never take friends for granted.   I said my goodbye a few months back but the loss will linger on for some time.
   Goodbye my friend. I will always remember our unique friendship.




Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Work In Progress - Candy's Man - Excerpt


Candy stretched, yawned, and snuggled back into a ball.  A faint humming filled the cabin, and she heard water running.
“Damn!”  The masculine voice was loud and clear, and her eyes snapped open. 
Oh, my God!
She lifted her head, and searched the room.  Her gaze rested on clothes neatly folded over a chair.   
Men’s clothes.   
Under the chair, a pair of shoes stood in an orderly fashion.
 A neat freak. 
She soon discovered that was the least of her problems.  She lifted the bed covers.  Just as she thought.  She was naked in a strange man’s bed.   Her stomach clenched.
I slept with a stranger!
With the sobriety she lacked the evening before; she shook her head in disbelief.  She had never been so reckless in her entire twenty-nine years.
The bathroom door flew open and a man stood before her in all his natural majesty.  Candy flushed and pulled the covers over her head.  His deep laugh resonated throughout the room.
 “You’re not shy?” he asked, the amusement evident in his husky American voice.
Shy?  Shameless was a more appropriate word.
“Come on,” he said playfully, and Candy heard him move closer to the bed.  The bed shifted as he sat near her.  “You’ve nothing to feel embarrassed about.”
Embarrassed?  Try mortified!
 With forceful hands he grabbed the covers and tried to pull them from her.  She refused to give up without a fight. 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

STORY BACKGROUND


Australia was a new country and maintained a ‘White Australia Policy’.  This policy, amongst others, effectively allowed for the preference of British migrants over all others through the first decades of the 20th century.

After the attack and threat of invasion by the Japanese, and a new awareness of Australia’s vulnerability, the Australian government began the ‘Populate or Perish’ policy.  Under this assisted migration scheme, citizens from all Commonwealth countries were recruited to immigrate to Australia.  This was known colloquially as the ‘Ten Pound Pom’ scheme.

Later, the scheme was extended to immigrants from northern European countries with the belief that they would more easily assimilate with the Australian community.  After World War Two, Australia also welcomed refugees from war-torn Europe who were known as ‘Displaced Persons’.

The second wave of post-war immigration arrived in the 1950s and 1960s.  These included migrants from Italy, Greece, Malta, Croatia and Turkey.

Unfortunately many of the British settlers saw the newcomers as foreigners.  The term ‘wogs’ amongst others, was used frequently.

The native peoples or aboriginals who had been treated harshly and imprisoned in the early years of settlement, had more hardship placed upon them.  ‘Half-caste’ Aboriginal children - those of mixed breeding -were forcibly removed from their parents and institutionalised.  The problems associated with these actions are still prevalent in today’s society.  These persons are known as the ‘Stolen Generation’.

Child migration schemes for underprivileged British children in Canada, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Australia promised a better life, and parents were persuaded to sign over legal guardianship of their children.  These children as well as orphans and indigenous children were badly treated and abused, and are known as the ‘Forgotten Australians.’

In my first two novels, I have used this history as a backdrop for my stories.  Growing up in ‘white’ Australia as children/young people of immigrant parents, my characters struggle to find their place and acceptance in a highly prejudiced society.  In an era of so-called progress, being torn between two cultures was both unsettling and problematic.

‘Heart’s Promise’ begins in the mid 1970’s and ‘Where The Heart Is’ continues to the early 1980’s.  They are two individual stories of emotional struggle, loss, acceptance and love.  

Set in my hometown, I have added a little local history to help the reader get the feel of small town life.

Once a quiet rural area, the town is on the verge of change.  The arrival of a large American mining company is the beginning of the region’s transformation.  But that’s another story…




Friday, 2 March 2012

'Heart's Promise' Excerpt



“I’m glad you came,” Malcolm said as he moved in front of her. “I want to ask you something.”

Milly tried to swallow but her throat was dry. She looked up at him, nervously. “You do?” she squeaked.

“Can I kiss you?” he asked abruptly, pressing a hand to the wall near her shoulder.

Not trusting herself to speak, Milly slowly nodded. ‘This is it,’ she thought. ‘My first kiss. What do I do?’ As Malcolm moved his face closer to hers, Milly closed her eyes, waiting for the touch of his lips.

Without warning, she felt a rush of air, heard a groan and a thud, and she quickly opened her eyes. She felt her heart skip a beat as she looked up into blazing green eyes. Flynn’s eyes. And she noticed Malcolm in a heap on the ground.

“Flynn!” she said, a hand to her chest. “What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?!” he yelled, looking like a wild man. “What are you doing?”

Confused, Milly looked at him. ‘Why is he shouting at me?’

“What did you think was gonna happen if you met him back here?” Flynn asked, with a sharp chin movement in Malcolm’s direction.

Frowning, Milly found her voice. “I knew what was gonna happen!” she shouted, annoyed that Flynn had spoiled her big moment. Flynn looked at her in disbelief, the disappointment clearly evident on his face.

“I’m not a little girl,” Milly told him, clenching her trembling hands.

“Yeah, you’re so grown-up,” Flynn mocked, looking like he wanted to hit something.

“You never pay me any attention so what do you care?” Milly challenged. “You’re not my boyfriend, Flynn.”

Taking a step back as if she had pushed him, Flynn glared at her. “Thank God for that,” he answered hoarsely, turning and stomping across the gravel. Milly watched as he disappeared in the distance and stood dazed, her heart beating fiercely.

Movement at the corner of her eye made her turn her head and she realised she had an audience. ‘Half the school is here,’ she thought, shocked, and noticed Malcolm brushing himself off, the front of his shirt missing its buttons. “Malcolm,” she said, belatedly. “I’m sorry.”

“You could have told me,” he said, dejectedly.

“Told you what?”

“That you like Flynn,” he replied.

“But I...I don’t,” she stammered.

“We all saw it,” he said, bitterly, waving a hand towards the crowd. “You and Flynn having a lover’s fight.”

“But...” she began.

“Don’t,” Malcolm told her, palms in the air.

Milly watched as he trudged across the gravel out of sight, and she hoped the crowd would disperse as well. ‘I want the ground to open up and swallow me,’ she thought, unsure of what to do.

With Malcolm gone, the throng of students began to move away, but Milly could hear the whispers. “Why’s she got two year-tens fighting over her?” she heard, and leaned back against the wall of the building, wondering how everything had gone so wrong.

Hearing footsteps, she looked up and saw Patty and Jenny move towards her. ‘Oh, no,’ she thought, realising that they must have told Flynn. Patty and Jenny stood in front of her, staring.

“You and Flynn?” Patty asked in astonishment.

“Why didn’t you tell me you liked him?” Jenny enquired.

Embarrassed, Milly felt her blood boil. “I don’t!” she exclaimed, angry at the mess Flynn had made and left for her to clean up. “I don’t like Flynn!” she yelled, pushing herself off the wall. “I hate him!”



Thursday, 1 March 2012

Sharing a Favourite Poem


My Country 
Dorothea Mackellar

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.



Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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