Posted in Elephant Creek, Happiness, Health and fitness, Other stuff, Writers, Writing tips

My writing epiphany made me hit reset


I had an epiphany.

From the Oxford Dictionary

epiphany

noun

1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). (Nah, not this kind)

2. a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. (That’s it)

My epiphany: To write in a healthy way.

The updated front cover up upcoming release Elephant Creek.

How did this moment come about?

A close friend dropped by my house. Nothing unusual with that, at least I didn’t think so. As I made tea I waffled on with my dramas (trivial ones in hindsight). Though she seemed a bit quieter than usual, my normally attentive emotional radar did not kick in. I should have twigged when she started on the lame jokes (her cover), but no I kept rambling. Finally, I asked her how she was (a smack in the head moment).

“I found a lump in my breast,” she said simply as my jaw dropped along with my shame. Breast cancer, the big C, the frightening, dreadful disease that no one should have, let alone a life-long friend.

Usually a non-crier, her tears fell, joined by mine and then my husband’s too. It was a moment of no, why, what, how, and this totally sucks! Of course, we talked about her options, emotions, ethics and yet to be made decisions until she was obviously exhausted from revealing the news.

When she left, I cried some more. Shock. Though I believe she’ll fight the big C and WIN I found myself thinking the oddest thoughts. Anger. How can I help her? Care. What would I do if something did happen to her? Selfishness and fear. Why someone so healthy? Questions. Why so many with cancer? More questions. I don’t want this to be happening to my friend. Sadness.

The next day I entered my home office. I answered emails, filed, created spreadsheets, did research and other things for four hours on autopilot. Occasionally I glanced at the books lining my shelf. Two are my own self-published books, two anthologies I feature in and the rest are writing references. When I finished my employed work (RWA), I stared at the books again. I looked at my desk with fresh eyes. I was organised with all my trays, nooks and folders. My office was functional and pretty. I loved working in my own writing space. Problem was I was not writing enough.

But what if my health stopped me working or writing? What if something happened to me, like my friend. I’d previously overworked and my health had suffered. I realised how important health is.

Another good friend (a fellow writer) has kidney disease and is awaiting a transplant. She’s ten years younger than me. Her first book will be out soon. Her disease spurred her on to get it done.

My epiphany made me hit reset. Restart all goals. Writing goals cannot be achieved without good health. The brain does not function properly with a lack of exercise and bad diet.

What will I do now (and yes, I have started)?

  • Wake early each morning to jog (I’m unfit so this is tough)
  • Walk the dog as a warm down (appreciating nature too)
  • Eat cleaner, fresher, wholesome foods
  • Always have breakfast (usually oats plus fruit or nuts)
  • Stretch the fingers after being on the keyboard all-day
  • Step away from the laptop if the neck or shoulders hurt
  • Go to the beach at least once a week
  • Write on notepads instead of always on a screen
  • Take supplements (like magnesium for cramps)
  • Eat more Keto-type foods
  • Buy a standup paddleboard and paddle on weekends
  • Get my skin checked
  • Purchase more hats to wear in the sun
  • Wear sunglasses in the sunshine
  • See the grandchildren (they give us life and lessons)
  • Listen to what people are really saying (watch body language)
  • Be mindful
  • Relax more
  • Keep learning about writing
  • Write more
  • Finish Elephant Creek
  • Start the next book (and keep going and going)

There’s probably plenty of extra things I could add but that will do for now.

Keep writing you never know when you will no longer have time

Until next time here are photos of my new office on the Sunshine Coast. Plus, the updated version of Elephant Creek’s cover. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

A wonderful review, new life and working for RWA


Sorry I’ve been absent from this blog. To say a lot has been going on is an understatement. I made a big move, began new jobs, decorated a lovely home (including home office), helped the dog adjust to the move (she’s snoring under my chair right now. I guess that means she’s settled), finalised some ghost writing jobs, tried to add to my manuscript (unfortunately not often enough), worked long hours, took in the sights of the new town, had visitors, celebrated another birthday (mine), saw more of the grandchildren and numerous other things that seem to keep me from this blog.

I promised myself a couple of weeks ago that I would write a post. Finally here it is.

In April I took on the role as Administrative Assistant at RWA (Romance Writers of Australia). Wow, I could hardly believe I could get this dream job and another with Design Stuff. Working from home with the collaborative, wonderful bunch of people at RWA has been amazing. I love that I get to help other writers live their dream, guiding them to an OWL (Online Writing Lab), which Facebook or Google group to join, how to become a member, what the membership provides and how to purchase tickets for the Melbourne Conference 2019 among other things – is a joy.

So you can see I have been busy but yes I am still writing. I am an author. The next book will be finished (eventually) and published for you to read. Bear with me.

At one of the events I was involved in this year Books by the Beach (Mooloolaba) I met lovely Ann-Maree Howarth. When she said she reviewed books I offered her a copy of The Zanzibar Moon. Here is her excellent review:

Ann-Maree Howarth’s Reviews >

The Zanzibar Moon

The Zanzibar Moon
by

Donna Munro (Goodreads Author)

40675160

Ann-Maree Howarth‘s review

May 31, 2019
really liked it
What an adventurest tale this book was from a heartbreaking New Year’s Eve to all the wonders of Africa. This has been the first paperback I have read in a while and I must say I really missed this form of reading. Donna Munro is a new author to me, an this is the very first book she has published. As an Australian, I really enjoyed the Australian lingo and quirks along the way. The flow of the story was good, it will hold your attention and keep you wanting to read and find out more. The author did also include a lot of African words and meaning to give you a very authentic feel to the story and you just might learn a few new words of African along the way. This kind of reading might be a bit of a distraction at first but stick with it the story will flow better after the author has given us a full description of Africa and the characters within it.
During this story will find our heroine travelling from her little suburban home in Australia to the dynamic country of Zanzibar where she is volunteering to find herself again. Alkina finds herself an empty nest and a too-time cheating husband at the start of a new year so she decided to fulfil her dream of going to Africa.
Dr Don Cloutier wanted Ali.
Kendwa wanted Ali.
Shaun wanted Ali.
Even Roger wanted Ali back.
Ali fell in love with the magic of Zanzibar and loved her job at the shelter helping the single mothers open up the old resort to support themselves and their children.
Will she find magic in the arms of another man? Could she just have a holiday romance and then return home to her children and friends? Or will this working holiday change her life forever?
“Maybe there is magic on Zanzibar after all.”
This book is full of wonder, magic, sadness, hope, regret, strength, sorrow, joy, love, chemistry, family, heartache, wildlife and most of all adventure that will fill you as you read. There was some part of the story I went really……but it was not my story to tell but the authors. It was a lovely change to the books I have been reading and I totally enjoyed this book even though I have had it sitting next to my bed for the last few months.description
Thank you Anne-Maree, you made my day when I read this review.
You can read more reviews at Anne-Maree’s blog Reading for the Love of Books.