Posted in Charity, Happiness, Health and fitness, Writers, Year of Gratitude

Goals, setbacks, new beginnings and looking forward not back


A bang of New Year’s Eve fireworks may be how most people will spend the end of 2019. Not me. I’ll be taking a more straightforward approach, ending the year with gratitude, pride and bittersweet memories. Maybe raising a glass of cold beer with my nearest and dearest.

As I age time moves faster, though for some reason this year seemed like a long one. It was packed full of the highs and lows of life, like an old rollercoaster slowly chugging uphill only to shoot down the dips, so my heart dropped to my stomach. I have ached but I have healed. I am optimistic about 2020. I hope you are too.

Words of 2019

I’ve laughed, cried, worried, grieved, shared, created, worked, pondered, let fitness slip, planned, been bullied, stayed resilient, supported, began a dream job, enjoyed wins, endured loses, regathered, communicated, got motivated, fought lethargy, got fitter, ate healthier, built a new life, found a new home, created family traditions, grew bonds, rediscovered design, networked, increased gratitude, wrote – and above all – loved.

What I learned most was:

  • We all have hidden internal struggles
  • Showing successes on social media doesn’t mean you are more successful than others
  • Our bodies need health more than visual appeal
  • Cancer is becoming a chronic, rather than a fatal disease (but the fact does not ease the emotional pain for those fighting the fight)
  • Bushfires have been part of Australia for thousands of years (we need to return to old ways)
  • Fires create new growth (ask the Aborigines or any indigenous people).
  • The world cares about our koalas
  • I don’t need to write multiple books per year – I must complete my WIP
  • There is more to the business of writing than words
  • My family are imperfectly perfect, and I love them with my heart and soul
  • Dogs know their way home
  • If you find the person who loves you warts and all love them warts and all back
  • No matter how far you travel, real friends remain
  • I write to be read
  • Words are, and always have been, my story
Firefighter Calendar 2020
I thought you’d like the Australian Firefighters Classic Calendar 2020. Hot fireies. There’s also some with sexy firefighters with cute animals. It doesn’t get much better than that. Buy a calendar to raise money for charity. Bonus – you have hot guys on your wall.

You’re probably wondering if I have a resolution. I have too many because I have a long list of goals I would like to achieve in 2020 and beyond. So, instead, I am setting myself a monthly challenge. I’ll let you know what my January goal is. Less alcohol and more exercise. I guess it’s a common one in January but for my health – an important goal.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

I’d love to hear yours. Comment below. Thanks for reading my dear readers. You mean the world to me.

If you would like to read my first two books for only 99 cents (ebooks only) and have a sneak peek at Elephant Creek.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Happiness, Health and fitness, Women's issues, Writers, Year of Gratitude

A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review


A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review

I finished ‘Unmasked’ by Turia Pitt and Bryce Corbett (336 pages), between writing and other jobs. I couldn’t put it down (but of course I had to or I wouldn’t have met my own deadlines).

Turia Pitt Unmasked, writing computer.
Turia Pitt’s Unmasked, just finished. Next to writing laptop and the essential morning coffee.

From the first chapter, I shed tears. They stayed throughout, but mixed with smiles, chuckles and ‘wow’ moments.

My husband commented, “Are you still crying?” I was up to chapter twelve and had a box of tissues next to me, my head in the book.

This is an inspirational read; not only because of what happened to Turia, but what she did about it. It’s not just about Turia. The people around her show wonderful human spirit and love, particularly her fiancé Michael. Inspiring love flow through the pages.

Have a sense of humour

Turia has a wicked sense of humour and undeniable courage. She probably would have been a motivator, even if the fire didn’t happen to her. Her voice is loud but her physical achievements are thunderous. How many people take on Ironman events, the Kokoda Track, support charities (she did this before the fire), empower other people and live a humble (if not selfie-filled, ha ha) life? See her Instagram account.

Turia is spurred on by those who say she can’t do something. Doctors told her she’d struggle to walk; now she runs, swims, rides and climbs (and not slowly either). It made me realise how insignificant my own struggles were. I have no excuse not to exercise. I cannot complain when I feel pain (arthritis perhaps) in my knees, elbows, shoulders and neck. I will soldier on because I’m very grateful to still be fit and healthy. If I don’t keep moving I may not stay that way. I will stick it out because Turia’s voice is in my ear.

It’s not just a physical lesson

I didn’t just learn a physical lesson. I think the main thing is about our mind and how we use it. Turia breaks things up until she achieves them, be it physical or mental. I’ve always fragmented my writing projects into, words, scenes, chapters, then they become full manuscripts.

With multiple projects on the go it was getting to a point, I thought completing them was pushing my limits. Then I read Turia’s book and I had a light-bulb moment. Keep doing what you originally did; break it up. Finish the first bit, then the second and so on. I’m back to a flow of 3,000 words a day. I’m back on track. Mentally I’m in the writing zone. It’s not the same as an athlete’s zone but it works for me.

We can all be better people.

Turia is proof. She chose not to be bitter and angry; instead to live a full and meaningful life. We would forgive her for the first (considering what she’s been through) but that wouldn’t have been Turia, the person.

As an individual, I choose to be the best I can be. That’s all we need to be. We compete with ourselves. We run our own race. Be proud of what you are doing. If you’re not proud of what you are doing change it. It’s also advisable to keep supporters by your side. The people who love you will cheer you on like no one else. Just like Michael is always the first to greet Turia at her finish lines.

I’d also like to say what an excellent job John Corbett, Turia’s ghost writer, has done to pull the story together. I loved the chapters from the viewpoint of each of Turia’s loved ones. To say I had my heart in my throat, is an understatement. He brought the personal emotions to the surface and made Turia’s tale captivating, engaging and un-put-downable. (Lots of applause going off in the background).

Best advice: Take just one step.