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    Weekly blog challenge – another double header – a skill I wish I had and weirdest thing fiction has taught me

    Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

    Time for the Wednesday Weekly Blog Challenge and yes I did miss last week and again I’m sorry. We were on a roadtrip down through NSW and Victoria and while I wish I was organised enough to pre-write these blogs so far that hasn’t been the case…maybe next week.

    So the first one is a skill I wish I had but don’t…this will be short and sweet. I can’t sing. People beg me not to sing around them. I can lipsync like nobodies business but my singing sucketh so I choose that. I’d take being mediocre at this point – I don’t need a chair to spin for me on The Voice but people not running from the room would be much appreciated.

    The second topic is The Strangest Thing I’ve learned from fiction. This’ll be short and sweet too becasue I no longer even know what I learned from fiction and what I learned from non-fiction, or school or TV or my parents (well most of the Catholic knowledge in my head is definitely school and my parents but beyond that it’s all a wild card).

    I was an early reader. I was reading before I started school (my mum was an infants school teacher) and I was a voracius reader as well – nothing new there either. I read widely and I read often.

    So do I know about the Civil War from Little Women or did I already know and then read the book? Did I learn about Australian wildlife before or after I read Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie? I really don’t know.

    There are a lot of extraneous facts in my head but pinpointing where they all come from is hard. And what’s the weirdest in the mix, that’s even harder to answer.

    What I do know is that reading opened up world to me I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to – knights and castles, adventures on the high seas, life in New York in a turn of the centure tenament or life in a quaint post-war English village. Some of those things may not have been weird but they were weird to me in suburban Sydney in the 1970’s.

    Book old clouds
    Books unleash the imagination




  • Blog

    Sometimes it is easy to forget – why I write


    Hearts AfireYesterday I was responding to a blogger about an upcoming promotional opportunity and she wanted a summer themed book. My Upper Crust Series isn’t especially seasonal (except Book 6 which isn’t out yet) but lots of my stand alone novels are.

    It got me to thinking about those books and how I got started writing and well, why I write.

    Reasons I don’t write (ie thinks that are not motivation for my writing):
    – financial success (Despite what you think most writers don’t make a living from it)
    – fame (For every author’s name you know there are thousands you don’t)
    – recognition (Ah considering at social gatherings even the people who know and love me barely acknowledge my writing we can leave this off the list)
    * Disclaimer at various times I have thought my writing might bring me one or more of these things but I no longer believe that.

    So why did I start writing and why do I continue?
    I wrote as a child and in my twenties but then I stopped. Time, motivation and need were all lacking then. (I’ll be honest my twenties rocked. I had a great social life with lots of friends in and out of work and lots of them lived near by me. we had disposable incomes and we ate out, drank like fish and danced until dawn often. Good freaking times!)

    In my early thirties I had a child and struggled with the notion I was lucky to get that one and wasn’t getting anymore, my husband was away around 50% of the time and most of my friends weren’t married or were just married and didn’t have kids. I was alone a lot. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t love it.

    Then my imagination came back to help me. Writing allowed me to create the sorts of friends I wanted to hang out with every day, the sorts of friends I had but missed. I got to write fund dates, romantic scenarios and parties. I drew on things I knew from my life, the good bits.

    My early novels particularly Mr Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire had aspects of my personality in them, and my life. Dog phobia is all me. Living by the beach, that’s my life. Meeting a hot guy on a tropical island – hey I did that. My writing was a really good way to draw on my experiences and the better, more fun parts of myself that were kind of taking a back seat to my day-to-day reality.

    Yesterday got me thinking about those characters and how much I loved them. I wondered why and realise it is because they represent the best parts of my friends, my life and my twenties. That’s probably why Cassie and Jack from Hearts Afire remain among my favourite characters. They made my life less lonely more full and they didn’t settle, they were characters who bounced back.

    I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a somewhat quirky world view….drawing on this was a way to connect my past to my future.

    My reasons for writing have changed over the years. I’m more pragmatic – although I still crush on lots of my own characters and mainly write characters I could see myself sharing a glass of wine or a plate of nachos with. Now though, my writing is a daily practice and an extension of who I am now rather than who I used to be.



    Pamela Cook
    6/15/2016 01:26:22 am

    Great post Monique. Love your honesty. I agree, creating characters we love to hang out with is a huge part of the fun of writing. I always love meeting your imaginary friends. Look forward to meeting many more!
    6/15/2016 02:22:43 am

    Thanks Pam. That’s the fun part, right? Creating those characters…I have a few more imaginary friends up my sleeve yet.

    Betty Uchytil
    6/15/2016 06:21:21 am

    I loved Mr Right. It was just like talking to you. Now in your later novels it’s like you are telling me an amusing story. I am amazed that you have all of those characters in your head!
    6/15/2016 04:56:46 pm

    Thanks Betty, I think the voice in Mr Right and Other Mongrels is the closest to mine. Lots of people have said when they read it that it was like talking to me, which I guess is a compliment, if you liked the character 😉