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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Duck!, our writers' meeting and a phone call from Mum.

I heard a lot of splashing and flapping in the pool the other day.  Thinking one of the complex residents was performing some weird swimming manoeuvre, I peeked out the window and saw some trespassers...this pair of wood ducks who were having a wonderful time!

Left:  Mr Wood Duck in a bit of a flap!

Both having a roam around after their refreshing 

Aaah!  That feels better!

When I mentioned this to my neighbour, she said that in the spring, when their babies are old enough, they bring them for a swim as well.  I can't wait to see that!

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I attended our writers' meeting on Saturday, the first for 2015.  It was four months since our last meeting as we'd had the Carnival of Words in November, our Christmas pool party in December and there was no meeting in January due to holidays so it was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  Actually, I was really excited about this meeting because our featured speaker is one of my Facebook friends.

Our guest was Elizabeth Ellen Carter, romance novelist, who had some excellent tips and advice for us.  At one stage, I glanced around the group and all had eyes glued on Elizabeth, hanging on to every word.  We had heaps of questions and she answered them fully and clearly, not seeming to mind that we were bombarding her. Elizabeth was a most enjoyable and engaging speaker and we learned such a lot.  I was also thrilled to meet another face on my Facebook friend list!

The 2015 Anthology is themed Killer Stories, not necessarily murders, but tales with a "killer" twist.  Those who submit stories are encouraged to read them out at meetings and four of us, including me, read ours out.  I discovered while reading mine out...a story involving an undercover kitty sleuth named Fifi McFlufflebutt...that trying to say that particular name without embarrassing myself required a lot of care.  At one stage, without realising what I was saying until it was said (a common occurrence) I complained that "there were too many F-words in this!"  At the roar of laughter from the others, I realised what I'd come out with.

One of our members is at the Dubai Writers Conference and before she left had shown me the list of authors attending.  I was soooo envious because amongst some very well known writers was Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. Also among his books are the Scotland Road novels, delightful tales of the residents and various other characters living in an apartment building in Edinburgh.  He's one of my favourite authors and I would have loved to attend his segment in the programme.  Anyway, when Barbara returns I'll hear all about it, over a glass or two of wine, no doubt.

It was a wonderful afternoon and I left feeling on a real high!  Next month's speaker is a retired police commissioner from our area who is also a prolific novelist.  I'm looking forward to that meeting, too.

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I had a phone call from my Mum yesterday who, for a 95-year-old, is amazingly bright and chirpy.  Her latest project is writing a book.  She has been in her retirement village for the last 30 odd years and seen many changes.  She originally thought she'd write them out for a former director of the village who has since retired.  Peter was very kind to Mum and Father when they first moved into the village and over time became a close friend. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's and had to retire.  Mum had the idea of writing down all the changes she's seen over the 30 years just for Peter, thinking he would enjoy reading about them.  I had the idea of helping her to self-publish it and selling hard copies with the proceeds going to the village.  She was tickled pink at the idea and has even more enthusiasm about her project.

I think it would be so wonderful when she finishes it...a book written by a 95-year-old and the fourth published author in our family!

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Where is the year going? It's March already and I'm nowhere near ready to let go of summer!  For those of you in the northern hemisphere, I suspect you'll be more than ready to let go of winter and welcome in the warmer days.