ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

All the best of 2016--What does your list look like? And and #IWSG late note...

Hi there!

Sheesh! I've been checking out a few blogs and see I've missed the IWSG, probably for the first time ever! Sorry if you came by to check out my post, but hey, I've been too involved in real life and forgot digital life there!  Anyway, while I'm here, I'll just say that I'm not feeling insecure this month. I'm feeling very grounded in my writing and am back to writing hours every day. How about you?

The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG will be Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner!

If you want to hang around, I have some pretty pictures for you as I relate my Best of 2016...

But before you do, I should answer this IWSG question:

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?


Well, there's a lot of writing rules I wish I'd never heard. Most seem to be just to trip up newbies, as I see best-selling authors breaking these so-called rules every time. One that I find particularly galling is the 'never use as except as a comparison.'


As in (((snark))) (((snark)))

'I fell over as he threw the ball at me.'

Should be...'He threw the ball at me. I fell over.' Yes, sometimes the 'as' makes the sentence out of order, but there's times you just have to use 'as', in my humble opinion.

I read every book from those 4 guys who sell the most popular fiction in the world...Lee Child, Michael Connolly, Dean Koontz, James Patterson...they must laugh themselves silly at this rule, not that they would care. I counted about 20 supposedly bad uses of 'as's' in one page of a recent Lee Child Jack Reacher book. It bothered me that he can do it and still sell gazillions of books. Goes to show readers want a story, not a rigid conformity to rules. Don't get me started...oh, you did. Now I'd better stop or I'll offend the rules police even more.

Happy Writerly New Year!! And blast those rules!! Tell that story!! 

2016. 

The year that was. 

Tough. 

The great humanitarian crises in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, the rise of nationalism in Germany, the terror threats/incidents in France, Germany, Iraq and Turkey and so on, multiple terror threats thwarted in Australia over Christmas, Brexit in Britain, Trump in the US, a killer president in the Philippines...oh, wow, get those fireworks happening! 

I'm not into New Year's Resolutions. Why shoot myself in the foot? But I rather enjoy thinking about what's been good in the past year while at the same time wondering what the New Year will bring. If you'd like to write your own list of My Best in the comments, that'd be awesome!

BEST...

MOBILE APP: Tinybeans (a baby-picture sharing app for those who don't want their baby's pictures all over the internet). My daughter is a social worker and sees too many wacky things. She chooses not to share photos of her baby, my one and only shiny grandchild. It's tough for me as he is the most gorgeous little fellow, but I totally understand.

INTERVIEWER: CNN's Christian Amanpour. Love the way she takes on the biggies and crooks of the world and at times squeezes a little truth out of them.

DOCUMENTARY: Utopia, produced by John Pilger. A very, very disturbing trip through central Australian aboriginal communities, showing the long history of mainly white abuse and how the situation is even worse than it was in the '60s despite millions of $$$ being spent. Unbelievable.

BOOK I READ: THRILLER - I Am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes. I hated being so fascinated by the evil, but it felt a reality in our world.

MOVIE: The Light Between Oceans, based on an early Australian true story of a young couple living in a lighthouse on a remote Western Australian island who find and keep a baby who washes up on the shore. Tragic.

BINGE WATCHING:

NETFLIX TV SHOW: The Killing

TV SHOWS: The Good Wife/Madam Secretary


OVERSEAS TRAVEL: China, although it took me 2 weeks to get the pollution out of my system.

WITHIN AUSTRALIA TRAVEL: Sydney/Hunter Valley Wine Region

THINGS ABOUT MOVING BACK TO THE BEACH: Watching whales frolicking from my deck, growing my own tomatoes and herbs. Begone, plastic tomatoes.

BLOGGER MOMENT: Meeting Lynda Young in person on a terribly humid day after her move to Brisbane and sharing a French meal together.

POLITICAL MOMENTS:
-- Bernie Sander's run for President, albeit brief.
-- Michelle Obama's speeches and positive actions for African girls.
(Okay, not Australian political moments. Our politics are deadly boring which is not necessarily a bad thing after seeing the global trend)

DRINK:
-- Baked Poetry Cafe, Peregian Beach, iced coffee.
-- Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory's Mexican Hot Chocolate.
-- Pink Champagne from Peterson's Champagne House, Hunter Valley

CHRISTMAS SNACK: Chocolate and hazlenut truffles from the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory

ANTICIPATIONS FOR 2017:
-- Finishing my Paris novel and getting it published.
-- Writing most days
-- Meeting with my 2 fabulous critique partners every month and exchanging chapters every few weeks

-- The opening of a French restaurant in Peregian Beach. (No big deal if you live in a big town, but Peregian is a little village of 3,500 people who enjoy the best of everything!!)
-- Finishing watching Netflix's House of Cards.
-- Travelling to the UK in April/May to visit my daughter who's there for a year, then taking her on a guided tour of Paris. Tres magnifique!


Happy New Year!! May all your dreams eventuate in 2017!!

  • The WEP winners are announced at Write...Edit...Publish. Please check them out if you have a moment.
  • And I'd love to read your list of Best of 2016. Please play along. 


68 comments:

  1. Hope a happy new year's is had at your pad. Blah, another reason I'll never go to China. I'll stay pollution free haha

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    1. Not sure I want to go back. The pollution is even worse now. You should see those billions of cars and they don't have anti-pollution devices on them...gah...

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  2. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Prosperous New Year, Denise!

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    1. Thanks Nas. Same to your adorable family!

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  3. So many good things! It's always cool to meet bloggers - I don't often get the chance due to geography. Happy New Year :-)

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    1. I don't get the chance either, Annalisa, living at the bottom of the world, but it's great when I do. Happy New Year!

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  4. Wow, you remember a lot of things from 2016. After the Trump/Clinton debacle I'm blocking 2016 out of my mind. I prefer to focus on the future anyway. Wishing you and yours a happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year!!

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    1. Aha, we learn from the past. I'm sure we're going to learn a lot about the US elections through this Trump 'win'. Happy New Year, Lexa!

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  5. Wish you and your family a happy New Year 2017. Let this year be a happy one:)It is nice to see back our life for our improvement...

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  6. I like that you've focused on the positive. There were good things last year. Here's to an even better 2017.

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  7. Always look back on the positive, only way to move forward with hope! 2016 was a great year for me. Politics aside! :) I'm living on the beach, can't beat that! A dream come true!
    Having my books in audio was a real thrill and this year and I'm looking forward to even better news! Writing is my joy, salvation, and goal!

    Happy New Year, Denise, may 2017 be a creative and successful year filled with love and happiness!

    Despite the world's politics! :)

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    1. ! Writing is my joy, salvation, and goal! Love that Yolanda. You go girl. NYTimes BestSeller list coming up!

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  8. Happy New Year, Denise. Despite all the bad stuff 2016 threw at the world I love your focus on the best of the year. Stay positive!

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  9. Happy New Year, Denise. Good luck with your goals in 2017.

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  10. Have a good 2017, Denise! Good luck with your French novel. I've heard wonderful things about House of Cards and it's on my to-watch list. I'm just worried that if I get addicted to the show, I won't get anything else done!

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    1. That's the problem, Cynthia. When I'm too tired to write, I binge watch, LOL!

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  11. A tv show that got me this year was ABC's Qunatico. Watched the entire first season on Netflix. I bawled when a certain character took a turn for the worse. Need to get started on Season 2 pronto. But got side tracked by Once Upon a Time series (ABC). Now that's in on break, time to catch up. Need to get back on House of Cards. Only have Season One down and started Season 2 before stalling. Happy 2017 Denise and wishing you all the best. WEP was amazing.

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    1. You sound like me, Sheena-kay. I've seen Qunatico and some of Once Upon a Time. All addictive. I'm so glad you joined WEP recently. Wonderful to have you on board.

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  12. Happy New Year, Denise! Wishing you much success in your goals!

    My best for 2016 has to be catching up with friends who I hadn't seen since Cairo, and also attending a school reunion after decades! and my silver anniversary :)

    So love Yolanda's comment about writing being salvation and joy, completely relate.

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    1. Your year sounds wonderful, Nila. Enjoy catching up with friends. Always special. Silver anniversary! Wow! Yep. I loved Yolanda's comment. That girl is on a roll!

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  13. Hi Denise - lots happening in your part of the world or life ... my goddaughter was ecstatic about China ... but she's now back in the humdrum of the UK and in social services - thoroughly enjoying it. UK and 2017 is going to be very interesting! I really don't need to go over the pond - that hair is going to bring me nightmares - let alone the constant repetition ...

    2017 is going to be about me having a better year ... then I can worry re others ... cheers and all the very best for 2017 - April/May sounds as though it'll be fantastic ... cheers Hilary

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    1. The UK and France will be our big trip for the year. 2017 is going to be interesting, no doubt, in so many ways. New territory. Cheers, Hilary!

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  14. On the big scale, things have been darned scary. I love your balance of smaller scale, but so important things: meeting Lynda in person, pink Champagne, and your BOOK! Here's to a fantastic 2017.

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    1. They have indeed, Lee. Let's enjoy the good things of life!

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  15. Sounds like you have found some great things to be thankful for and appreciate from 2016. I love that you have some awesome events and experiences to look forward to in 2017. May it be a year of good health, happiness, and lots of laughs. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yep, Jess. 2017 is going to be awesome personally but not sure about globally. Here's to hope!

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  16. I really like your positive outlook backward on 2016. I hear so many people complaining about what a horrible year it was. Granted, on a global scope things are not necessarily good, but then when have they been, not really in my lifetime. From my personal perspective 2016 really wasn't so bad. I had some health issues near the end of the summer and I admit to being bummed by missing the end of summer and most of fall, but all in all, my health is pretty good, considering some of the problems I've had in the past. I spent some quality time with family in 2016 and for that I'm always grateful. I also found my personal mojo to start writing and be invested in my work again. For me, that was a very big plus.

    I hope your 2017 is even better than 2016. May we all be happy, healthy and continue to follow our dreams.

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    1. So pleased with your reply FAE. I'm glad you got your writing mojo back and hope you can put it to good use at WEP.

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  17. I don't make resolutions either. They are the type of things I try to avoid, but I love your list of goodies from 2016. I know you're going to enjoy England and Paris. If you pass through Germany, like in Cologne, Munich, or Frankfurt, let me know. I'll meet you at the airport for a coffee. Frankfurt is the closest for me, but I'd take it upon myself to drive 440 kilometres to Munich just to have a coffee and say hello to you personally.
    Have a great year, Denise and thanks for mentioning the thriller you read. I'm going to purchase it and put it on my reading schedule for this year.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Pat, how beautiful. Now you've got me thinking about Germany! I'd love to meet you! And it's possible!
      Shalom Aleichem
      Denise x

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  18. That's awesome!!! The trip to UK/Paris sounds amazing - you'll have such a great time.
    I don't do resolutions either. At this point, hoping 2017 is kinder, gentler and full of joy!

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    1. I'm sure the trip will be amazing, Jemi. Many share your hopes for 2017.

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  19. There's a chocolate factory in the Hunter??????????? That must be new... or newish. I would've known about that otherwise. Surely!!!
    And yes, it was so awesome meeting you. :)

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    1. Hah Lyn! They were everywhere! Yummy!!

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  20. Loved seeing all your positives. So awesome you met Lynda! We really have to focus on them and what we're grateful for. I don't really have any resolutions this year either. I'm just continuing to take it one day at a time.

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  21. Oh I envy you and your boring politics!! Australia has always seemed a lovely place to live. When I was a kid, I was determined to move there! Who knows? I love your list of Bests! It's always a good thing to focus on the positive. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy New Year!
    Jen

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    1. Who knows? You could do worse than live in Oz.

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  22. What an enjoyable list! I think politics are getting a little too interesting here in the US and we have, what, just a couple more weeks before Trump takes over. Oh boy.

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  23. Your positivity is an inspiration, Denise.

    I Am Pilgrim was one my top three books last year. This year, I would have to say my favorite novel was Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham—an Australian!

    I’m still reeling from the US election and suspect I will be for quite some time to come.
    Oh, what I’d give for deadly boring politics…

    Wishing you a magnificent 2017!

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    1. Thanks V.R. Glad to see someone else who loved I Am Pilgrim. I have several Michael Robotham books. He often speaks at our writing festival.

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  24. Seems you had a pretty good year. Real life if usually more interesting than blogging. Glad you were off enjoying yourself and making lots of memories. Hopefully you'll continue to have awesome adventures this coming year.

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    1. Thanks Donna. I hope you made many new memories, too.

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  25. I liked your list Denise. Thanks for sharing all these great things happening in your life.

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  26. Denise, I haven't heard of that rule. I'll have to be aware as I write if only to see if I use the word "as." Have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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    1. Yes, check it out by all means. If you're not aware of it, it probably means you use/misuse it. You too have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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  27. You had a great year! Best wishes for 2017.

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  28. Dropping by to wish you an awesome start to 2017 Denise!

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    1. Thanks Nas. It's awesome so far. Hope yours is too.

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  29. Wow! That's quite a year you had there.

    So many of the writerly rules seem custo made to be broken. For every one there are about twenty exceptions. I'm learning more and more to go with my gut.

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  30. I try to limit "as," but I love to use it, too. Sentences can actually sound better with it.

    I binge watch Madam Security, too. :)

    I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you!

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  31. Ooo, you have me interested in I Am Pilgrim. Googling it up now.

    Hope your 2017 is warm and prosperous!

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    1. Thanks John. You'll love I Am Pilgrim. Happy New Year to you!

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  32. thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the exciting things you did in 2016! China! meeting Lynda! how wonderful! Australia is on my bucket list, has been since I was a teen.

    and thanks for visiting my cradle rock release party!
    Tara Tyler Talks

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  33. Wonderful that you got to meet Lynda Young! And awesome to live near the beach.

    I'm with you on the political moments. Happy 2017!

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    1. 2017 is certainly going to be an interesting year!

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  34. As if it matters! LOL. Yes, a lot of big authors get away with grammar mistakes a rookie would make.

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