rowan tree blossom

June 2017

Half the year vanished at speed and I am still dealing with a list of things to do I wrote for January. June is such a wintery month and already we've had snow on the hills and white frosts. Problems loom as always in the winter: heating now I only have electric heat pumps, frost cover for the tender plants and trying not to eat too much.

Writing has been of the catch up type. Getting the ebooks onto different website markets, taking a couple of online courses about marketing books, filling in the tax forms, and the tax record for the year as well as updating tax records has been my writing life. The short stories, the nasty neighbour and bad family ones, are out to markets. I had enough true tales from people to make anthologies when the stories have earned their keep in zines and journals. I am busy taking notes for the Boer War/Oamaru novel. It's quite sad though reading the young men's letters and diaries as they rushed off for a great adventure and then found out what war was really about. For some reason I can't find the right names yet for the major characters.

'Bittersweet', in e-book form, is selling steadily, but no one is writing reviews yet. Most frustrating. One of the better Goodreads groups has just started a review thread. Perhaps I can find reviewers there. Reviews are so important to give the ratings which allow writers to advertise in the newsletters which go out to readers. And there's another catch up job to do. I have to see that my books are correctly filed in the National Library and it seems that some of my ISBN numbers do not match what they have on file.

I'm also behind with the blog and Goodreads reviewing. That is my next task. I've had a great run of books to read and they are all sitting on my Goodreads bookshelf waiting to be reviewed and filed. Fortunately the novels waiting for review were all great reads which made a pleasant change from the books I've had from the library lately.

Walking and swimming have really helped strengthen and settle my new hips and if only the right knee was fine I would be leaping around. Sadly I'm still waiting for the specialist. But I do not fear the long flights lined up for September. I had worried a little about travelling to Melbourne for the conference but now have the confidence to book a fly and boat trip on Doubtful Sound despite the difficulty getting there.

Tutoring writers can be a struggle. After a great day with Timaru Writers I felt confident enough to chase up several writing groups to see if they would like a similar course. No replies as yet.

June means tree planting time. I've squeezed in another dwarf apricot and a wintersweet. I love those bare branches in winter with their almost invisible flowers which smell so like melting sugar. I've popped the tree in near the front door so that I can open the door and get a waft of scent. There's a Daphne on its way from the nursery too and I still haven't worked out where to find a large tub to plant it. I'd like it near a door or window too as it is also sweetly scented. Plants like that do cheer up the winter grey days.

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