Tuesday, June 30, 2009


After showing my dh's not-so-hero-like behaviour in my last post, he then goes and redeems himself, and in a big way...
I have been on maternity leave for about 18months and when it became apparent that I was not going back to work, I started complaining that my 'good clothes' would be stuck in a time warp because there would not been such a pressing need to update them for 'work', my stock standard excuse for buying new clothes in the past. In fact, soon my entire wardrobe will comprise of track suit pants and faded jeans.
So imagine my surprise when my dh hands me a nice little white box and within it, information pertaining to my sessions with a personal stylist and personal shopper. Session one is a wardrobe analysis (an audit of what to keep, alter, give away and what's missing) and session two is the shopping trip (identifying what suits me and equipping me with info on how to shop for myself in the future). This gift was surprising on a number of levels:

  1. The last time my dh put this much thought into a gift for me was close to a decade ago.

  2. This gift proves that at some point, my dh actually LISTENED as I spoke.

  3. Its a gift that is for me ONLY. About four years ago he booked a holiday for my birthday, which was great, but he benefited from it just as much as I did. Generally, my birthday present is being taken out to dinner, again, this benefits him too.

  4. The gift also sparked an idea for my next ms (this one is totally unrelated to the others, but surprised me how much writing has consumed my life).

Sigh, I guess there are SOME redeemable qualities in my very own hero. Now I just have to suck up the courage to accept the findings from the wardrobe audit, cause it ain't going to be pretty!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Fact is Stranger Than Ficton

Last Friday was my birthday and since we had a child free day dh & myself decided to go to lunch at a nearby beach side cafe. Friday was also the day that dh received delivery of his somewhat expensive 'hoon' car. Now, for all intensive purposes, it is a very nice car. It's fast, has a luxurious interior and well, looks Ok. Its just the colour I cannot get by (yes, the pic is the exact car, and that key lime green is another story all together).

Since his toy was brand spanking new, I let dh drive his car and listened politely at him gibbering all the way about his brand new pride and joy. I even refrained from making a smart comment when he insisted we park it right in front of the cafe so he could 'keep an eye on it.'

As we sat on the balcony enjoying our lunch, a three cheese souffle for me and lamb shanks for dh, I noticed him looking wistfully over my left shoulder. Since it was a cold, but sunny winter's day and we were across the road from the beach, I assumed he was enjoying the view of the rugged coastline, a view that was quintessential Sydney. How mistaken I was. When I asked him what he was looking at this was his response:
I am looking at my car thinking how about taking a photo of you draped over it in a bikini...'

Umm, WTF? I was stunned, and very confused. Should I be insulted or flattered? At my silence he elaborated.

But it has to be a black bikini, black would look the best against the green. It would look great in the garage. What do you think?

What do I think? I think my semi-intelligent husband has totally lost his mind. And even if I had a personal trainer and chef for six months, plus hair, make up and a spray tan on the day, I would NOT do it.

Note to self: Ensure that current and future heros don't say such lecherous lines to heroine.
Sigh. While I can control what comes out of my hero's mouth on paper, in reality it's a whole different ball game.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

You know when you are read a M&B author's 'about me' blurb at the beginning of their book and they say how they used to read their grandmother's or mother's M&B when they were 12? Well I can put my hand up and say I too fall into that category, except they were my aunt's books.

The other day whilst reading such a blurb, it got me thinking about the different author's and books that impacted me whilst growing up, and how each book/category/author could be associated with some memory. For instance:

  • Enid Blyton & Roald Dahl books are my earliest memory of reading 'novels'. I would go shopping with my mother for the sole purpose of scoring a book. She would often leave me on the book section whilst she shopped and collected me on her way out.

  • Ruth Park's book Playing Beatie Bow was the book that inspired me to write. I loved it so much and convinced myself that I would write the sequel. For those that have read the book or seen the movie, you know that it's pretty much impossible to have a sequel, but hey I was 10 or 11 and my dreams were big back then.

  • My pre-teen stage: The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin and Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume are two standouts.

  • Then came the teen romances: The Sweet Dreams series and Sweet Valley High. These books remind me of heart fluttering first kisses and happily ever after. I so wanted to be blonde and blue eyed but the closest I came was the disastrous episode with a spray on hair lightener that left my very dark brown hair a beautiful shade of orange.

  • Then came the summer I spent at my grandparents and I discovered Mills & Boon. My uncle and my aunt where still living at home at the time and the books shelf displayed an interesting combination of books. Books about Stalin and Karl Marx on one end (for arguments sake we will say the left) and an abundance of M&B on the other. Do I have to spell out which I read? This is the only 'fad' of books that I never truly grew out of.

  • In my senior years in high school we were made to read a lot of texts no one particularly enjoyed. There were two exceptions though: 1. Pride & Prejudice (need I say more?) and 2. An Open Swimmer by Tim Winton. A vivid memory from high school was when a teacher walked into the room at the start of a lesson and found one of my friends and myself devouring Pride & Prejudice whilst the reset of the class ran amok. This is the dialogue, word for word of what happened next:

Teacher to unruly classmates: 'Why can't you girls just sit and read like Janette and Susan?'

Maria: 'But Miss V, we are not nerds like they are.

  • In my 20's there where two author's that stood out for me: Nora Roberts (particularly Birthright) and Marian Keyes (especially Last Chance Saloon).

Which brings us to my 30's and present day. The funny thing is - whilst the years have passed and morphed into themselves, not much has really changed. Still knee deep in M&B and hooked on HEA; still an aspiring author; still reading an eclectic combination of books and still a romance nerd...