Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beautiful Families

My own beautiful family holds enough inspiration for any would-be writer of Super Romance novels. Here is a pic from our family album:
(Photo not taken by me, sorry!)
Aren't they gorgeous? Desperately devoted duo becomes trio!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wedding Bells

Start the wedding bells a-tinkling!!! We're having a Valentine's Day wedding, - that's THIS week. My son and his lady are finally getting married. Her three littlies will form part of the wedding party as well as my other two offspring. It will be held in the garden of a friend and then afterwards we've hired a room at a local club.
Once again, I have been heavily involved: flowers, cake, decorating, the list goes on...
I must say, I love weddings. What's not to love for a romance writer? It has to be the epitome of all we stand for. Love, so deep, so committed, that two lives are joined as one, in all it's traditional glory. Even if elements of the ceremony or reception are not so traditional, we still cling to it in a fairytale-like state, dreaming of the happily ever after.
Like I said, what's not to love?
regards Annie

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mayana update

Isn't she adorable??? This was our first visit!!

Love story

I received this email from my brother-in-law and had to share it with you!

The love story of Ralph and Edna...

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool. Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end.

He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there.

Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable.

When she went to tell Edna the news she said, 'Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love. I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness.

The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead.'

Edna replied, 'He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?'

Happy Mental Health Day!

You can do your bit by remembering to send this to an unstable friend...

Done my part!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Welcome Precious Princess

Welcome to the world, Mayana Joy Shanae my first grandchild.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Waiting Game

Annie is still awaiting the arrival of first grandchild, soon, pleeeeze!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Message for 2009

Hi All
Hope you are surviving the new year - happily, healthily. Sorry to say I have had a nasty touch of a viral infection and have not been a 'happy camper' to say the least. Never mind, I shall survive.
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the lil munchkin grandbaby, any day now. That poor mummy tummy doesn't look to be able to stretch much more. How quickly we forget when a couple of decades have passed!! LOL
I shall be in touch, so stay tuned!
Regards Annie

Monday, December 15, 2008

New from old

Hi all,
Well today I am very excited to show you some pictures of my work space. And yes, I have been doing some work, so there!
We have been gradually adding some overhead cupboards and some full height bookshelves, so I can now un-store my many boxes of books hidden during the rest of the house renovations. Add some lovely timber blinds and clear off the years of non-filing from the top of those beautiful timber bench tops and voila!! A very lovely working office once again. We have used new and recycled goods during this process and it's a rather eclectic look. But never mind, you get that being married to a builder who won't throw ANYTHING away. Just as well, coz I'm still here too.
The shelves used to be old kitchen cupboard doors. My desk was recycled too. It used to display our sons train set several decades ago. Add a couple of legs and now it's a desk. Now don't laugh too much, it just happens to be true.
Outside, the two large windows reveal a beautiful entry/patio area complete with water feature, lovely tropical plants including orchids, and oh, did I mention the rubbish bins? We can't have everything it seems.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adapting reality

Hello to all of my online followers. I miss you all.
As most of my posts include some element of photography, I thought I would talk about that topic today. Not sure if I have mentioned one of my favorite things to do with a camera - to find the abstract within reality. Maybe it's my warped view of looking at life causing me to think this way, LOL.
I recently purchased a new camera to zoom in on smaller abstractions or larger ones, whichever way you look at it. The larger than life problem now is I'm having a nervous breakdown learning to use it! With little success. What I have been keen to do is find new editing software to fine-tune the pictures. So, I've now downloaded the free software (because I can't afford to buy any)and have to learn to use both the new camera and the new software. I'm not really happy about that fact, but thought I would share the first one I think would look lovely on the wall.
Family - growing tummies all around, all are round!! Future babies doing well.
- visitors!!
- birthday parties everywhere!!
- wedding planner/decorator Annie has a job to do!!
- renovations still under way!!
- health so-so, actually well, but torn tendon in wrist still excruciating!!
- medication - fabulous!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

One of my favorite photos

Angled Sunset

As the sun sinks in the sky I'm assured that night will darken the earth and the giver of light will rise again in the morning. I'm hoping this is true of my writing.
I have some more exciting news. We are expecting grand-baby Number 2!!! This little one will be born in Mid May, just weeks after the parents were to be married. So one door closes but another one certainly will open!! Just like those sunsets and sunrises.
I sincerely apologize to all my readers for not updating this blog as often as I'd like. Hope you understand that life does get in the way some times.
Regards Annie

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bring back Spring - it is inevitable

Here down under we will soon be lapping up the warmth of Spring. What I would love more than that is some spring in my step. Still experiencing ill health and NOT enjoying what usually brings me pleasure at the moment finds me determined to build my immune system to make it work for a change!! I am really hoping the new season will not only occur weather-wise but also health-wise. When I am feeling better my doctor has promised he will attack my wrist with a scalpel - now isn't that something to look forward to?
Now that you know how I'm feeling, do you think it's possible that I would jump up on a stage and start singing and dancing? Nope, you guessed that right.
Let's look at this scenario regarding characterization. Valerie Parv says it's inevitable for characters to react a certain way that isn't contrived. In other words, if you have set the heroine up as a timid, li'l thing with a people phobia, she would never consider jumping on the stage with me to sing a duet and dance too. Once a writer has gifted characters with their personality there's an inevitability as to how they act and react.
As a writer, care has to be taken to portray characters true to their created personalities for what Ms Parv calls the 'ring of truth'. As a reader I am so frustrated when I see this abused. I could put a recent example in here but don't want to hurt the published author!! There was a scene that I could never, EVER see the heroine indulging in for the sake of her hero. Sorry, but there are just some things that are inevitable and this scene was SO contrived that I was getting annoyed. Still, she's published and I'm not. I guess if the story is good enough there are some things we can skip over. But I won't be picking up this author again.
How about you? Have you read something that was so out of character it turned you off the story or even the author?
Regards Annie

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Go Ahead... look the part!

I haven't done anything on the blog this week because I have been sick. Nothing too serious just quite nasty, and hopefully, short-lived.
It did give me the perfect opportunity to look the part. (What is she talking about? I hear you ask.)
We Aussies are experiencing the chilly days of winter 'down under'. Here in Queensland where the promotional tourist banners brag 'beautiful one day, perfect the next' we get... hmm let's see now... maybe a couple of cold days hmmm let's be generous and say, we get a week. Well, we are having that now! LOL
My hubby is what we 'down under' would call a tuff Aussie male. That means, he will sit there in his Tshirt and shorts and deny that he is cold and tuff it out, macho like! Aahh but I can see his feet edging closer to the heater. Oh didn't I tell you that he makes sure the heater is on but 'tuffs it out' just the same!
That's right, I forgot I was talking about looking the part. Well, here it comes.
Sick, warm cuppa beside the bed, great book in hand, doona up around the ears, trackie dacks (that's what we call 'em anyway. The translation would be... the lower part of the track suit) Tshirt or maybe a sloppy joe (oh translated kinda like the long sleeved trackie top LOL) AND let's not forget the fluffy dressing gown and slippers (but not while in bed - well - most times anyway!!). But Queenslanders rarely even own slippers, we just wear socks with our thongs. OOPs translated that would be flip flops. Now I don't know what would look worse, fluffy bed socks with your thongs or ours!!! ROFL cough cough (holding crutch, don't ya hate it when ya have to do that?)
I forgot the best bit. Because there is a book in hand we can stay there all day (oh I mean in bed not with hand in crutch!! Come On) and call it research.
Until a food craving comes, then that would be time to get up and do some exercise - walk downstairs, boil kettle and make another cuppa, raid the fridge (but only briefly, too cold to linger), zap whatever is in your hand (from fridge - preferably leftover chicken/vegie soup) in microwave, trudge back upstairs, and settle in for more research!!!
My dog is so desperate for company he has taken to running away all day. AND he hates the cold so much he wraps himself in the tiny mat we wipe our feet on at the back door (I guess that's what you do with a mat anyway isn't it?) - when he's at the back door of course!
Well, back on subject, the looking-the-part bit, NO I AM NOT taking PHOTOs!!!
Regards Annie sniff sniff cough cough
PS Announcement - any reference to real life is purely fictional of course, and bears no resemblance to anyone/canine living or dead ROFL cough cough (hold the crutch)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Floor Plans

Design - Homestead 37 - copyrighted to Newstart Homes

Whenever a new house is about to be built, the owners and builder pour over their floor plans making sure every detail is accounted for before construction begins. My DH is a builder and my bro is a house designer and my DD and her hubby are developing several properties, so I have seen my fair share of plans in my time.
As I am about to start a new story, I am still researching a couple of ideas. One of them includes the house where a lot of interaction will take place. In order to do it justice I think it is always important to draw a floor plan. I have done this several times: once for the main house of my last story, the other was a pub where several scenes were set (although the detail here wasn't as complete as for the house).
I not only use the collage for visual accuracy but I draw the floor plans to give credibility and ease for describing scenes.
Go to March 14 for my blog on collage or copy and paste this link -
If the heroine turned to walk away from the dining table and walked into a wall it could prove a little embarrassing. It also helps when it comes time to describe the light or shadows or views from a room or balcony etc.
Do you use this floor plan kind of planning in your research or do you merely go with the flow and design around your characters wants and needs? I would be interested to hear your comments.
Regards Annie

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Abstract expressionism and music

My friend Froyle Neideck is an artist who uses music to inspire the creative process. Concentrating on abstract expressionism she conducts workshops to inspire original thought and encourage self expression. Creativity, she says, is the language of the heart. Read more on her website - by clicking the title of this blog - and check out the testimonials and her paintings. I have several! Now read here what she says about the importance of music in her creative process.

"My inspiration comes from colour itself, and my approach to art is most akin to abstract expressionism. My paintings are a celebration of the creative process; whereby the initial inspiration is the spring board and from this the art evolves.
At the moment music is playing a vital role in my creativity. It is the catalyst from where I am drawing my emotional expression and my paintings are often the execution of a visual colour melody."

I think any workshop that develops this kind of creative expression is always valuable to anyone in the arts. There are never too many roots to support a healthy plant.

When my wrist gets better I look forward to doing one of Froyle's workshops and when I do I will post a pic of the masterpiece here!!! Now that's confidence for you.

I'd love to hear what you think on this one... Do you think we, as creators of the written word, need to develop creativity or just concentrate on crafting words alone?

Regards Annie

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Heroes, heroes everywhere!!

I've been looking to the music scene for some inspiration for a hero. There seems to be plenty, but which will I choose? Bonnie Taylor is holding out for a hero. Metallica’s hero of the day isn’t John Lennon’s working class hero. Thank goodness we don’t believe as Tina Turner does, because she doesn’t need another hero. I do. I always need another hero. Bring on the hero and bring him on now. My friend is like Neil Young, sharing appreciation for the western hero as does ELO with and even wilder western hero. Then there’s Loverboy’s home town hero, Terri Clarke’s unsung hero and the Days of Yore sole hero while Jamie O’Neil has somebody’s hero, but it seems he doesn’t belong to Trixter because according to them nobody’s a hero. There are all the other heroes, the list goes on… TV hero, Juke box hero, war torn hero, space-age hero, Zero the hero and let’s not forget yesterday’s hero (though he’s probably a bit out-of-date for us LOL). And the birth of a hero probably means a series or a very long wait! What we want is for our heroine to join Emery in holding out for a hero or, no wait, yes, yes… I’ll have what Reel Big Fish is having – a brand new hero!! Will you join me? I promise to share!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our Hero has a 'Soft-Spot"

Don't we all love a great hero? Of course, that's why we read and (some of us) write romance. Recent conversations have brought up the issue of how strong (or alpha) writers should make the hero.
One statement kept coming up. 'He should never be weak.' The last thing writers want to portray is a weak hero but how to make him a sensitive new-age guy while still have the strength to take the 'hero' role of a story is the balancing act of every writer who wishes to steer away from the true alpha portrayal.
But even an alpha needs a soft-spot.
Cynthia VanRooy says most romance novels portray the hero as the macho, alpha male type character. So, how does the writer develop him further? She says to “create a hero the reader will fall in love with… by showing the little boy within the man.”
Well, little boy within the man, hmmm… my DH quoted for a good many years that he was just a “growing boy”. Please let the man emerge, and quickly! LOL
Cynthia continues ”I don’t mean you should have him [the hero] exhibiting childish, immature behavior, but rather show what hurts him, excites his enthusiasm, makes him proud. Show his soft spot. Is he a sucker for kids, does he love animals, worry about his mother? You can get away with a lot in terms of macho behavior… as long as he demonstrates what Suzanne Brockmann refers to as the save-the-kitty factor”.
How to portray the ‘save-the-kitty factor’ will vary with each hero, but let’s never forget to show his soft-spot – especially the one in his heart for the heroine.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Role of a Lifetime

My good friend Jennifer Shirk has just had her book released and you really should check it out.
Here is part of the set-up as per her website - to access it directly click on the title above...
There’s more to life than playing make believe...

Sandra Moyer has a good reason to distrust actors. She was once married to one who left her and her child. However, she’s desperate for publicity to help her struggling preschool. Hollywood playboy Ben Capshaw’s request to access her classes to prepare for a role is an offer she can’t refuse.

Check it out by reading more plus an excerpt (on her 'My Books' page) and don't forget to watch the trailer on her homepage.
Regards Annie

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock, sml

Monday, May 26, 2008


Some of the news I wanted to share with you is not so earth shattering, though for me it is sensational news. All my family who have been staying here to recoup finances etc have moved out. Several times a week our household bulged with up to seven extra people (though usually it was only five) with the lounge/dining area transformed to resemble multi-bedroomed sleeping quarters. While it is always lovely to have family here and I enjoy them heaps, the addition of three little ones under four meant all our time went to just running this household.
So, now I am home alone while DH is at work and I can hear the bubbles popping in the fish tank!!!
You have no idea how excited I am.
But wait, there's more.
We found out while on holidays that we will be grandparents (our first natural grandchild) in the new year. Everyone is in 'excited hyped up mode' about this little new addition to our family. It was totally unexpected news for us as the couple is still studying but unbeknown to us they had been trying for some time. They are a truly amazing couple and will make fantastic parents and, of course, they will have some of the best grandies on the planet!! Two lots actually!!
Well that's all for today. Stay tuned for more holiday pix...
Regards Annie