On Boxing Day we had lunch with friends and one woman, who had just read WANTED: GREENER GRASS, commented that my new novel would be a raging bestseller if it weren’t for the ‘personal growth bits' in the book.
‘People don’t want that sort of thing,’ she said.
If you’ve ever received a Christmas or birthday gift that was wrapped so beautifully that you didn’t want to disturb the packaging you’ll know that, much as you admired the presentation, you wouldn’t dream of keeping the thing sealed and intact – you just naturally rip into the sticky tape and open it up.
It struck me, as I was wandering around Woolworths this morning and listening to Christmas carols, that intuition is like a surprise gift.
I was very touched by the turn-out for the launch of WANTED: GREENER GRASS, and especially delighted by the response from the first readers who are now finishing the book, such as:
'Enjoying so far... It's one of those books you have to keep reading... I love it. I found it hard not to highlight sentences I loved. The ending is so up my alley. You asked at your launch if we would like to know what happens next. Hell yes. Do it.'
'Started and finished your book today. Love it.'
Thank you to everyone who came along to celebrate with me!
The process we went through in finding the right cover for this book was very drawn-out and frustrating! You just wouldn't believe how many concepts we explored before we ended up with the gorgeous cover we now have. I reckon, all up, close to 15 ideas. One of them ocurred to me at 2 o'clock in the morning. I got out of bed and sat on my office floor sketching and cutting and pasting and thought I'd found it! But there was always something that wasn't quite working, whether it was with the cover, the title, or the subtitle.
My new novel, WANTED: GREENER GRASS – A novel about love, envy, and a crazy kind of courage was launched by Dr Rosemary McCallum on Sunday 26th November at The Highway Gallery in Mt Waverley. (We also launched my new song, ‘Looking For Me’)
I wanted to create something I’m calling ‘Conscious Chick-Lit’: a light romance with some depth. So far readers are saying it delivers that.
This novel is about envy, relationships, and the journey we go on in figuring out what we really want. While I wrote it as pure fiction there are definite overlaps with my own life. If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll be aware of the bizarre ‘life imitating art’ experience I’ve just been through.
'Greener Grass' was the working title I gave my new novel because I wanted to explore the idea that we tend to think something else will be better than what we currently have. No wonder I was taken aback when the new man came into my life and I found that my life was imitating art: my long-time dream of a life partner who would share my interests was being realised, just as it is for the main character in my novel. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, my blog about the new novel and my seismic life changes is here.)
I've since changed the title of the novel for something more unique since those two words are already in great use (for novels, books and lawn mowing businesses!), and I'll announce the new title soon.
We’re encouraged to be grateful for what we have, and that’s very good and useful advice. But there’s also a place for 'divine discontent’: often our dissatisfaction with aspects of our lives gives us the ‘kick’ we need to create necessary changes.
That dissatisfaction can be particularly confusing when there are enough elements in our current situations that we genuinely value. Should we risk losing the valuable aspects in order to take a risk and reach out for something that might be better?
Years ago, when I was pregnant, I wrote a humorous little cartoon book about the experience of being pregnant, and in particular all the things I’d been advised to do and not do. The do’s included:
- meditate and be calm
- play classical music
- eat a healthy diet
- take nutritional supplements
- drink more water
- sleep more
- do yoga, etc.
Last year, when I was launching my Destiny Interview Series, significant changes were unfolding in my life.
I’d been asked to teach Novel-Writing at CAE in September 2016, and so I figured I’d do the right thing by my students: I’d do what I was asking them to do and write a novel. One of the ideas in my filing cabinet had been calling me for some time – it was a concept I’d jotted down some eight years ago, and I’d been scribbling notes and bits of dialogue for it ever since. As I was calling my students to work on novel structure and character development, I figured I’d apply the lessons to my own project at the same time.
Have you seen Michael Moore’s documentary, Where To Invade Next? If not, watch it immediately! It’s wonderful.
If you’re not familiar with Michael Moore, he’s a baseball-cap-wearing, grossly overweight documentary-maker with a heart of gold, an eye for the important issues, and the ability to make his points with elegance, profundity and humour.
Where To Invade Next flips the idea of invasion on its head and explores which countries are doing wonderful things that America should ‘steal’. Follow the link below to find out a little more. (Warning: contains spoilers…)
I haven’t read any Stephen King books because I’m not into the thriller/horror/mystery genre, but I decided I wanted to read his On Writing, and I’m really enjoying it. The man values the literary arts more than I had expected. His turn of phrase is entertaining and delightful. I particularly love his humility in sharing an excerpt of his own work, unedited and then rewritten, for the reader to see how he goes about the process of refining his work.
But when he gets to the heart of his book and states that while he believes an incompetent writer can become competent, a good writer can never be great, I cannot agree.
We’ve been keeping an eye on terrorist activity in the northern hemisphere because our three children are travelling through Europe at the moment. It’s quite unsettling as news of these crises emerges, sometimes only a day after our kids have been in one of those locations; I have to remind myself to trust that they have much too much living to do for their numbers to be up yet…
That might sound irrelevant considering that plenty of children die in these attacks, but I remember my editor Tim Marlowe saying that if you really looked into it, you’d find that those who passed had chosen that at some level.
If you lived at our place you would by now have become familiar with the sound of my voice yelling, ‘Oh no!’ and the clatter of my feet madly dashing to the sink so that I could turn the water filter off before the whole house flooded.
In fact, I did once flood the kitchen so effectively that water leaked through the floor and into a light bulb in the garage below, shorting the system…