It’s been a while since my last series of posts, mainly because I’ve been wallowing in the slump I generally find myself in once I do the final revisions on a novel. But I’m starting to drag myself out of my post Close To Home swamp and back into the real world. Where it’s time to start thinking about what’s next

Unfortunately I’m not one of those writers who has a zillion ideas and not enough time to write them all. Ideas, for me, tend to brew slowly, simmering away on the back burner of my subconscious until I decide to turn up the heat and start cooking. To continue with the kitchen metaphor I generally don’t throw together a banquet but concentrate on one dish at a time, channelling all my energies into coming up with the right ingredients and concocting a memorable experience for the reader. That’s not to say that writers who work on more than one novel at a time, or one idea at a time, aren’t able to serve up an entire menu of quality reads – I know many that can and I envy their wizard like abilities. Sadly though, that’s not my creative style.

So when one story comes to an end and the proof pages are emailed off to my editor I’m usually at a point (like now) where I have a notion of what I want to write next but not the entire plot. I’m a pantser, someone who writes without knowing where the story is heading and works it out along the way. Sometimes that means I get stumped at a certain point so this time I decided I was going to plan more and not start writing until I had a pretty good idea of where the story was going. Despite my attempts to sit down and come up with an outline and structure it hasn’t happened so I’ve decided to throw those particular plans out the window and revert to my usual process: start writing and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted on how that works out.

In the meantime I’ve been doing what Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) calls ‘filling the well’ with good books and good music.

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I’m a lover of country music and this week caught the US band Lady Antebellum at one of their Sydney appearances. I first saw these guys about 6 years ago at a regional Keith Urban concert (before Keith was on Australian/American Idol he actually played smaller venues). It was fantastic to see how far the band has come, how their support base has grown and how much they absolutely love performing. The joy Charles Kelley received from the audience’s reaction to the music was obvious and infectious, making it a truly fun night. Of course it didn’t hurt that he’s great eye candy too!

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The book I’ve been reading this week, shortlisted last year for The Man Booker Prize, is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I can’t say too much about the storyline as there’s a serious issue with spoiling something crucial but I can say that it was a pleasure to read a book that made me laugh out loud, brought tears to my eyes and was written so brilliantly by an articulate, clever author. I highly recommend it – but also recommend you don’t google it or look up reviews in case that spoiler I mentioned appears somewhere. Just read it and enjoy!

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Oh, and today I went to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I can’t say I enjoyed this sequel as much as the first one (when do you ever really?) but the stellar cast and the gorgeous setting made for an enjoyable two hours. Made even more enjoyable by the addition of Richard Gere. That man is still drop dead gorgeous.

Sigh!

So that brings me to the end of the week …when tomorrow morning at 5.30 am I’ll be sitting here starting on the first chapter of my new book. There, I’ve done it, committed.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

What have you been watching. listening to and reading this week?