This is what I’ve been doing

Husband'sSecret_Aus

Here’s the Australian edition of my new book, The Husband’s Secret, hot off the presses! It’s available right now, and would quite possibly make a wonderful Mother’s Gift. Maybe include some sort of high quality chocolate to be absolutely sure.

Here’s the US edition: And here’s the UK edition:
Husband'sSecret_US Husband'sSecret_UK
It will be out July 30. It will be out in September.

I love and adore each of these covers and that is the truth. It’s not always the truth, but in this case it truthfully is the truth.

Here is a video of me talking about the book. I’d prefer if you didn’t actually watch it. I’m only putting it here because the extremely lovely people at Pan Macmillan Australia have been putting all this time and effort into doing clever, creative marketing activities for the new book, and they asked me so nicely to use the video. And they published me in the first place! So they have a magical yet scary power over me, like Santa Claus. I haven’t watched the video myself because I know if I watch it I’ll go into a fit of depression that will last at least two weeks. Heeeuuuwww. That’s the shuddering sound I make whenever I see myself on film.

It’s great the way they’ve frozen the video with me pulling that particular face, isn’t it? Just great. Do we still say video? Let’s move on from the video.

I’m not fond of the multitude of ways we can contact each other these days. People are always cranky with me because I don’t answer texts fast enough. My email in-box overflows. A character in my new novel has social anxiety. I think I have social media anxiety. Other authors twirl about the Internet, tweeting and blogging and Facebooking and commenting and linking and I can’t even find my mobile phone. But, may I say, how much I have LOVED the fact that within 24 hours of The Husband’s Secret being released in Australia, I was hearing precious feedback from readers. I’m always in a nervy, twitchy state when a new book is out, and it was such a joy and a relief to receive lovely Facebook comments and emails. It seems an incredibly generous thing to do. So thank you for that, technology. I still hate you, but that was nice.
Well, that’s it for now.

I hope you like the book.

Would you just look at that humble little sentence. I know you know it in no way conveys the great and terrible depth of my neediness for you to really, really like the book.

– Liane

Posted in Writing by Liane. 38 Comments

Something to chew over

One sister texted me at the hospital, “Think how interesting your next blog post will be!”

Another sister texted, “Did they let you keep the piece of chicken as a memento?”

A friend called, who I was meant to be meeting for lunch that day. “Oh God,” she said. “You poor thing.” She paused. “You always did scoff your food.” “Thanks,” I said. “And what about that weird thing you have with spoons!? Where it has to be like, a really small spoon? Even though you have these really huge mouthfuls?” She was still laughing when I hung up.

On Tuesday night at around 8.45 pm I was eating green chicken curry when I felt a lump of chicken lodge in my throat. I coughed. I drank water. Nothing would move it. My husband thumped me on the back with great enthusiasm. Then he tried the Heimlich Manoeuvre. Numerous times. I could tell he really liked doing the Heimlich Manoeuvre and I’m sure he did it very well, but it didn’t work.

We googled. Of course we googled. I put ground coffee behind my teeth. I drank olive oil. I ate a banana. I was retching. Every now and then I felt quite sure I was about to stop breathing.

We ended up at Emergency. “Was the chicken yummy?” asked a nurse, with some relish, as I projectile-vomited saliva.

At 3 am, they gave me a general, intubated me, and yanked it out.

Nurses, anaesthetists, specialists were all called from their beds, because I didn’t chew my food properly. “You just have to stop eating like a pack wolf,” said my husband tenderly.

In my last post I tempted fate with this foolhardy remark: “Who knows what my next blog entry will hold?” Who knew that it would include one of the most mortifying and terrifying experiences of my life?

If anyone would like to share a similar story, ideally one that is even more revolting, please do so. In fact, I will send a signed book to the person who shares the most horrifying story, because you will make me feel less alone and ashamed.

I will be here, chewing. Chewing, chewing, chewing. And who knows what my next – no! Shhh. Let’s all stay very, very quiet and still.

PS. In my last post, I mentioned that I’d finished my new book. It would have been sensible to mention when it was going to be available, but no, I just babbled on about hairdressers and whatever. THE HUSBAND’S SECRET will be out in Australia in May 2013. I expect it will be available in the US in June, and in the UK in August.

 

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 28 Comments

Why didn’t you tell me?

Last week I wrote ‘the end’ on my new novel, tentatively called THE HUSBAND’S SECRET.

I’m waiting now for the editing, so I’m in that funny time where I do my tax, pay my bills and write apologetic emails to all the people I’ve been neglecting.

I’ve also been reading a new novel by a first-time author. It’s called ‘50 Shades of Grey.’ You’ve probably never heard of it, but I do like to support new authors. It’s selling quite well apparently.

While I read it, I took a few notes. (For my writing.)  It seems that my books need more spanking! Why didn’t any of you lovely readers tell me that you wanted more spanking? (Ha.) I guess you felt too shy to mention it.  Don’t feel shy! I could have used the heads-up.

Although maybe you realized that I couldn’t write a sexy spanking scene to save my life. (Well, I don’t know. Perhaps I could to save my life.  Except I’d be quite nervous and distracted by the person trying to kill me, so it might be tricky to get myself in the right frame of mind.)

Anyway, it’s great to see a new author making a bit of a name for herself. Good on her!

What else?

I had a facial.  “Do you have any concerns about your skin?” asked the beautician in that soft, soothing voice they teach them at beautician school.  “Not really. Just make me look ten years younger,” I said. I always say that.  She guffawed. They always guffaw.  (And I always think, Umm, excuse me, why the guffaw? Doesn’t this stuff work?) It’s probably because she’s thinking OMG, if I hear another middle-aged woman say that I may just shoot myself.

A similar thing happened at the hairdressers.  They have these vibrating seats at the washbasins. (Not 50 Shades sort of vibrating. For heaven’s sake, you people.)  “Shall I put your chair on ‘massage’” asked the hairdresser in that bubbly bouncy voice they teach them at hairdressing school. I said, with a sort of wry, humorous, casual tone, “Oh, sure. Why not?”  I felt that really summed up my wry, humorous, unique personality. That’s why I was shocked to overhear the next three women in a row answer in exactly the same way, “Oh, sure. Why not?” they said, in my wry, humorous tone of voice.  I was quite depressed about it.  It seems I have a mass-produced personality.  I had no idea.  I secretly thought I had one of those quirky, hard-to-find personalities.

So prepare yourselves my blog readers. I’m going to be spending the new few weeks renovating my personality and developing my erotica writing skills. Who knows what the next blog entry will hold? WHO KNOWS??!

(Probably something shame-faced like, So another year has passed since my last blog entry.)

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 17 Comments

Nicola

Thirty-one years ago, in the middle of a dark, stormy night, my father woke me up with the words, “It’s time.”

Well, he probably didn’t say, “It’s time”, who knows what he said? It was thirty-one years ago! June, 1981. We had really bad haircuts but proper music

Also, my mother has just confirmed that it wasn’t stormy, but it was ‘freezing cold’. She agrees that it was definitely dark.

Anyway. “It’s time,” my father said. (Possibly.) I got up and followed him blearily down the hallway. The lamps were on in my parents’ bedroom. My mother was up, and dressed in a pink quilted dressing gown. (“Mmm, not pink so much as a lovely, deep velvet red,” says Mum. ”I loved that dressing gown to bits. You can call it pink though, darling, if you like.”)

Mum was breathing strangely, as if she’d been running. Why is she doing that? I thought curiously. I’ve never been quick off the mark. (“I’ll never forget the expression on your face,” says Mum. “You looked at me as if I was quite mad.”)

“Sleep in our bed in case any of the children wake up,” said Dad. I was fast asleep by the time they closed the front door. It was so cold Dad had to scrape the ice off the windscreen before they left.

The next day Dad called to tell us that we had a new little sister. Her name was Nicola. Not Erin. Mum and Dad had been tossing up between Nicola and Erin, and for many years our next door neighbour sent us Christmas cards saying, “Dear Liane, Jaci, Kati, Fiona, Sean and Erin.”

Nicola was the cutest, most angelic baby ever born. She had a crazy tangle of blonde curls and a dimple. We seriously couldn’t believe how adorable she was, and I was thrilled whenever anybody mistook me for her mother. (I wouldn’t be quite so thrilled if that happened today.)

Oldest children are conservative and bossy. Youngest children are generous free spirits. You can see this in action when we go clothes shopping, and I stay in the change room pouting, while Nicola flies about bringing clothes for me. Once, the lady in the next change room tried to get in on the action and asked Nicola if she could bring her the black pants in a smaller size. “She doesn’t work here,” I said huffily. “She’s my sister.´ Then I overheard the manager offering Nicola a job.

She nearly took the job, because she’s proper Gen Y and has therefore had about 400 jobs. She’s been a swimming teacher and an actress. (Dad was SO happy to see that provocative photo of her back used on a billboard to advertise one of her plays!)

And now, Nicola has just released her first novel. It’s called FREE-FALLING and it’s a beguiling, tragic-romantic comedy of heartbreak and heroism, grief and ghostly dreams. I think her male characters are particularly wonderful and well-written. I expect this is because there was NO WAY IN THE WORLD she was attending the same Catholic girls school where Jaci, Kati and I attended. She wore a short skirt and went to the local co-ed school. That’s right. Nicola went to high school with BOYS. I can’t believe it either. (So did our sister Fiona. They got really cool at the other end of the family.)

Buy Free-Falling by Nicola Moriarty. You’ll love it.

Nicola's wonderful new novel, available now!

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 12 Comments

Emerging from behind the keyboard

Over the next couple of weeks I will be speaking about my new novel THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY at the following venues in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. If you live nearby, please come along and say hello. Mention that you read this Blog and I will discreetly hand you a FREE RED FROG. Seriously. I will. (The man at my fruit and veg shop gives free red frogs to my children and I always have to resist holding out my own hand for one. It’s hard being a grown-up.)

It’s a strange thing talking out loud about a world that has only existed in your head for two years. It makes me feel incredibly self-conscious.

Fortunately there is always a particular person in the audience who helps get me through. As soon as I start talking she (it’s normally a she) gives me the loveliest, most encouraging smile. Then she nods and chuckles the whole way through my presentation, as if she’s never heard anything more fascinating. I love that person.

I have to admit I’m not that person myself. Whenever I see someone speak, I keep my face totally blank and avoid eye contact as if I’m on a New York subway, on the off chance there is some sort of humiliating audience participation thing coming up.

Once, when I was talking about What Alice Forgot, I made the mistake of looking away from the smiley, encouraging lady in the back row, and noticed a man in the front row who had gently nodded off to sleep. It gave me the giggles. It was my punishment for all those times I fell asleep during uni lectures. My notes were filled with strange scribbles where my pen had skidded off the page after my chin suddenly dropped to my chest.

Anyway, whether you choose to smile and nod, look stony-faced, or enjoy the opportunity for a quick snooze, I’d really love to see you there.

Tuesday October 4
Where? Dymocks ROUSE HILL, Shop GR023, Rouse Hill Town Centre
10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill
Time: 7.00PM
Bookings: 02 8883 3055
Cost: $5

Wednesday October 5
Where? Black Cat Books, 179 La Trobe Terrace
PADDINGTON, BRISBANE QLD 4064
Time: 6.30PM
Bookings: 07 3367 8777
Cost: $5

Thursday October 6
Bookseller: Angus & Robertson – Literary Lunch
Venue: The Grandview Hotel
49 North Street
CLEVELAND POINT QUEENSLAND
Time: 12.00PM
Bookings: 07 3286 1002
Cost: $35
Extra Information: 2 course luncheon served with a glass of wine

Tuesday October 11
Where? Berkelouw Balgowah, Shop 24, 215 Condamine Street
BALGOWLAH
Time: 6.00PM
Bookings: 02 9948 1133
Cost: FREE

Wednesday October 12 – together with authors Dianne Blacklock and Ber Carroll
Where? Penrith City Library, 601 High Street PENRITH
Time:6.30PM
Bookings: 02 4732 7891
Cost: FREE

Thursday October 13
Where: Surry Hills Library 405 Crown St, Surry Hills
Time: 6:30PM
Bookings: 02 8374 6230
library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Cost: FREE

Friday October 14
Where: The Sun Bookshop, 9-10 Ballarat Street
Yarraville
Time: 6.00PM
Bookings: 9689 0661
info@sunbookshop.com
Cost: FREE

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 67 Comments

Snow! Facebook! Oprah! Hypnotism!

So, a few things…

1. I am finally on Facebook. At family events my sisters kept referring to things and I’d say “Huh?”and they’d say, “Oh that’s right, you wouldn’t know, you’re not on Facebook” and then they couldn’t be bothered to explain the story because it was my own fault.

I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet. I took about a week to come up with my first status update and I haven’t done another one since. Also, I keep finding hidden messages from people, like little notes crammed into tiny spots where I didn’t know I was meant to check.

And it seems you’re not allowed to finish a comment with your name. If you do, Facebook reprimands you by deleting the whole comment. We already KNOW who you are, it says, see there’s your little photo right there.
So far I’ve been a real Facebook taker, just enjoying checking out everyone else’s photos, and not offering anything in return. Apparently I have to be careful, because people ‘cull’ their friends. Scary.
If you would like to follow me on Facebook, apparently you can do by clicking on this button.

Please ‘like’ me if you would like. Oh, dear, sometimes I come across so very elderly, don’t I. And I’m only 35! Actually I’m 44, but I was so surprised when I turned 35, I got stuck there, and I’ve remained in a perpetual state of astonishment ever since.

2. In other news, What Alice Forgot was launched in the US this summer, and it was chosen for ‘Oprah’s 2011 Complete Summer Reading List’ put out by O Magazine. It was also included on the summer reading lists put out by People Magazine and the New York Times. So… well, I was just trying to work that into conversation really.

3. I went skiing for the first time since the children were born! It was wonderful. My brother-in-law had a big ‘stack’ (I’m sorry for the inverted commas, it makes me sound elderly again. But I just can’t seem to say it without the inverted commas. And I’m only 35!) Anyway, he got to the bottom of the hill, took out his phone, and posted about it on Facebook. I was gobsmacked! I know, I know. Did you know, you can get cash out of these little machines in the walls! Just press a few buttons and hey presto!

I didn’t have any ‘stacks’. Except for one, and it was a snowboarder’s fault. He probably posted a different version of events on Facebook, but I know the truth.

Here’s my little boy and his cousin at the snow. We didn’t take a single photo of the adults. It was like we weren’t there. Even though we actually had a far better time than the children. But this way we’ll have evidence to show the kids one day. Look at the great holidays we took you on!

My little boy and his cousin at the snow

4. My new book, THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY, will be out in Australia on 1 October. Here’s what it will look like.

Cover of The Hypnotist's Love Story

Cover of The Hypnotist's Love Story

OK, I’m signing this Blog entry off with my name, just because I can. Liane. HA!

Posted in Family Writing by Liane. 16 Comments

The early bird does about $1000 worth of damage

 I’m not a morning person.  I’d be fine if a maid glided in with my breakfast on a tray, drew back the curtains and asked if there was anything else madam required. Then I could gently ease myself into each new day, rather than having it slammed against my forehead with all its bright, shiny light.  

(I think I must have noble blood, because I genuinely feel this sort of lifestyle would really work for me.  I’d particularly enjoy ringing for Cook, so we could discuss menus for the week ahead. )

I mention this because the other day I actually did manage to get up quite early.  (It was like, I don’t know, 7am or something.) I had an appointment to see my publisher about my new novel, THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY (due out in Australia in October.) I was taking the baby and dropping my son off at preschool on the way.  That meant I had to dress like a proper person. I had to cut up grapes to keep the baby distracted during the meeting.  I had to move briskly and efficiently at a time when I really should have been stretching and yawning and calling for my lady-in-waiting.    

But I did it! I left the house right on time, and after I dropped George off I started to fill quite chipper. Look at me juggling career and motherhood,  why, I’m so early I could even stop and buy – and that’s when I realized I’d left my wallet at home. So, a tiny spanner in the works, because I needed to pay for parking, but I had time to spare! I drove back home and retrieved the wallet.  

I made it into the city in good time, stopped at a red light, and waited. Tapped my fingers on the steering wheel. Waited… gosh, slow old traffic light… waited….hey, c’mon now! Those people have already had their turn!…Oh, for… The traffic light stayed red.  It was a one-way street. There was no escape.  People began to toot their horns, because that always helps.  A taxi was the first to take action, ignoring the red light and pulling out decisively. The car in front of me wavered, still hoping for the green light that was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. I called out gentle words of encouragement. Finally he went.  I did the same!  Had imaginary conversations with the police. “What was I meant to do officer?’ Felt wild and exhilarated.  

I got to the building where my publisher has their office and drove straight into an underground parking area I’d never noticed before. I drove round and round but every spot had an angry sign shouting that I must not under any circumstances park there. No public parking, no visitors parking. I couldn’t find any spots reserved for my publisher.  I had to get out of there. I followed the exit signs down a ramp to find my way blocked by a barrier.  There was an office but it was empty. There was no intercom. Once again, I was trapped. I was starting to do that manic, disbelieving laugh you do in these situations.

 I reversed back up the ramp. There was a hideous screeeeeeech as I scraaaaaped my dear little Volkswagon Golf along the wall.  

A friendly-faced ginger-bearded man walked by. I wound down the window and told him my life story. Well, certainly more than he needed to know.  “Just park your car anywhere!” he said.  (He had no official car park capacity. He just wanted me to stop talking.) I took his advice and parked in a spot STRICTLY RESERVED FOR COMPANY M STAFF ONLY.  

As I put the baby in the stroller, she gave me a little pat on the face, as if to say, You really don’t cope well with actual life, do you, Mum?  I wheeled the stroller up to the building foyer, checked the directory to see which floor my publisher was on… and there was no Pan Macmillan listed.

I didn’t understand. Was I…? Had I been transported to some sort of alternate reality? I called my sister. (We have the same publisher.) “Isn’t Pan Macmillan at 1 Margaret Street?”  “That sounds right,” she said. “But I’ll look it up.” She looked it up. “It’s 1 Market Street,” she said, just as the battery on my mobile ran out.

My damaged car was now trapped in a strange car park and I was about six blocks away from where I was meant to be with no way of calling ahead.

I arrived at the meeting forty minutes late. Everyone was very kind. “We were just starting to get worried,” they said. Some lovely person went out and bought a packet of arrowroot biscuits for the baby because I’d left her grapes at home on the kitchen bench.  Someone else bought me a coffee.  I began to breathe normally again.

Nothing else went wrong.  When I got back to the car park Company M hadn’t towed me away. Another nice stranger swiped their card to let me out of the car park. So, free parking in the city!  Clever!  The early bird really does catch the worm!

However, I learned a valuable lesson that day. Those of us with noble blood really can’t be expected to get about like ordinary commoners. Next time I shall call for the carriage.  Or at least a taxi.

***

It has just occurred to me that I’ve only written a handful of blog entries over the past year and TWO of those entries are about me turning up at the wrong address.  If this was a novel, my editor would write something like, “Do you really need this scene?  It’s quite long and rambling and you’ve already demonstrated this character’s ineptitude. She’s in danger of becoming annoying and I’m not sure if it’s believable. Suggest cutting?’

She would be absolutely right, and if this was a novel, I’d hit delete and try not to think about how long I’d spent writing that scene, but you know what, it’s my blog!! So I’m keeping it! After all, I drive straight through red lights! I park in Company M’s parking spot and I get away with it! But that’s it.  If I do anything like this again, you won’t be reading about it here.

Posted in Uncategorized Writing by Liane. 18 Comments

You were always on my mind, blog

So, I didn’t blog for about six months, but all that time ideas for blog entries kept drifting across my mind, like clouds flitting across the sky, or some other punchier, less sappy metaphor; I’ve got a cold.  A summer cold, sent home from preschool, carefully passed on via dozens of sticky little fingers.  I can’t be expected to come up with metaphors when it’s hot and my nose is blocked.

(I love it when bloggers complain about their colds in great detail, especially when I’m feeling healthy.  It’s similar to the way I quite enjoy eating dinner while watching the contestants on Survivor starve.)   

Anyway, I had lots of ideas for blog entries , like butterflies flitting – no.

I just never caught those ideas on paper.  

For example, months back, during the winter, I walked by a group of teenage girls sitting in a circle on the grass.  They were talking that way teenagers talk.  “So I was like, no way!” And I thought, Actually, I quite like that ‘like’ thing. It’s much more descriptive than, “So I said, no way.”  She didn’t just say ‘no way’. She felt it.  

I was going to write a blog entry about that.  I was thinking, other people my age complain about young people’s language. Not me! I’m so unconventional and hip!  

And I was going to mention how much I love ‘whatever’. It’s the perfect withering comeback when you’re losing an argument! It gives you the last word when you don’t have the last word.  Used judiciously it can be quite devastating.  True, it makes you sound like a teenager. But whatever. It’s not like you ever sound mature when you’re arguing.  I think there was a real gap in our vocabularies and ‘whatever’ filled it. I’d like to warmly congratulate whoever first said it.   

But then, later that same day I was crammed into a shopping centre lift with a few hundred  teenagers, and I thought, if you children use that word ‘like’ one more time I’m going to scream.  So then I’m like, I can’t write that blog entry now! I’m just the same as all those other conventional, middle- aged people.

By the time I got home that blog entry had floated away, like a boat.

Yes, like a boat. Seriously. I just sneezed fourteen times in a row.

There was another day, I remember, in spring, and we were at the park near the beach with my sister Jaci and her little boy Charlie. There was a wedding going on right next to us, and all the guests had been handed bongos. Did I just make that word up?  As in little drums? No.  I googled it.  (How did I ever get through the eighties without google or the word ‘whatever’?)

So the wedding guests were obediently drumming away while the bride and groom signed the – whatever it is they sign. (Cold! Very bad cold! Enjoy your ability to breathe freely through both nostrils.)

Jaci and I started dancing to the drum beat.  I was carrying the baby and she was laughing as I bounced her on my hip, and it was a beautiful moment in the spring sunshine. But then our sons noticed. Our very small sons. They were dying of embarrassment. “Stop it!” they told us sternly. “But it’s fun!” we cried. They stamped their feet. “Stop that right now!”  

We stopped, and as soon as they got distracted pretending to drill a tree with long sticks, we started again. They caught us and went to sit on a park bench with their arms folded, shooting furious looks at us over their shoulders.  

They were only 3 and 4 years old! “It’s started already,” we said sadly.  It seemed like only yesterday they were babies and now they were miniature teenagers.  

But then, a few minutes later they were arguing. “I want it!” shouted George. We finally worked out that he wanted Charlie’s imaginary sword.  “Ah,” we said, amused. That’s easy to solve. “Here you go then!” and we pretended to hand George a sword. “NO! It’s mine!” screamed Charlie. And then they were both grabbing at the air for the imaginary sword.  

So we ignored them and danced, happy that our children weren’t so grown-up after all.

I was going to blog about that, but then, you see, I was on that slippery slope at the end of my novel, where I could see the end in sight. Every time I sat down at the computer I didn’t want to write anything else except another paragraph that would take me closer to THE END.

I wrote THE END just before Christmas. It’s called THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY and it will be released in Australia in September. 

Now, I’m waiting for the editing, and sniffing, and eating left-over lolly snakes from my daughter’s first birthday and googling ‘calories in a snake’ and remembering all those blog entries I never got around to writing.

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 23 Comments

Road Rage

Look, I have something to say to the truck driver who was behind me as we headed into the Lane Cove Tunnel the other day. Yes, I understand you were angry, because I should have moved into the left hand lane FASTER! MUCH FASTER! Because you were in a hurry! And I was only doing the speed limit! And you needed to go much faster than that! So I certainly did deserve to be punched continuously in the face (if I picked up on your message correctly?)

The thing is, we’d just driven by diggers! Diggers! Who knew they even existed? But now I have a son, I’ve come to realize that diggers are fine pieces of machinery. (Useful too, I guess, for digging.) Anyway, we were discussing diggers and so I didn’t move over as fast as I should have.

I’m truly sorry.

I’M NOT REALLY! I’M BEING PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE!

The only time I ever get road rage is in reaction to somebody else’s road rage. Apart from that I’m all gentle shrugs and friendly toots and oh-you-silly-person-in-the-blue-car-goodness-me-just-what-are-you-doing-you-silly-sausage?

I guess it’s because I’m possibly not the world’s best driver. When I first started driving I considered photocopying a standard letter to leave on the windscreens of all the people I bumped into when I tried to park.

Once my sister got a job working at the insurance company I used and she checked my records. She rang me up and said, “You do realize they record every word you say when you ring up to report an accident? Like, ‘The man was really mean to me’?”

Well he was. And I was only twenty. (OK, thirty.) I ran into him on the harbour bridge because I took my eyes off the road to try and find a coin for the toll. “It doesn’t seem like there’s much damage!” I said brightly as we examined the back of his car. The man frowned. He got down on his hands and knees. Then he pounced. “Look!” he cried triumphantly as he pointed out a teeny-tiny scratch I could have rubbed away with my sleeve. “You’re going to have to pay for that!”

Anyway, truck driver, I moved over. And I gave you a little wave of apology. But I still think your reaction was a touch excessive.

Unless, of course, you’d just got terrible news. And you were racing your truck to be by someone’s side. In which case, I really am sorry.

Otherwise, I hope you got a ticket.

***
In other news, I’ve finished my new book! More details to come.
Also, we saw more diggers today!

PS. Is it bad manners to post about a trivial incident without mentioning that it’s been six months since I was here? Or just sort of odd? Or perfectly acceptable?

Posted in Uncategorized by Liane. 11 Comments

A winner! And other random thoughts…

Thank you to everyone who entered my competition for UK readers – all nine of you! I was frightened I wouldn’t get any entries at all and I’d look like someone at a party earnestly suggesting a game of charades, so I was truly thrilled to see every single one of your lovely comments.

Alice from Warwickshire was the winner of the signed copy of Three Wishes. Congratulations Alice! I assigned everyone a number and used one of those random number generators to select the winner. It generated the number 2, which surprised me for some reason. I thought, “How random is that!”

Thank you again for entering. Really. OK, now it’s like I’m tearily hugging all the kind people who agreed to play charades with me.

***
I have been writing a scene for my next book where a character is driving home from a restaurant and reflecting on two important events. Those two events were quite hard to write, and I’m not getting much time to write lately, so it felt like this trip home had been going on FOREVER. Every time I sat down at my computer I would think, Oh for heaven’s sake, she’s not STILL driving home is she? It’s a twenty minute drive! I mention this because today she finally pulled up in front of her house. I nearly wrote, ‘She heaved a sigh of relief’ before I remembered that was just me.

***
I’ve got into a bad habit of looking myself up on Amazon every morning and then allowing the reviews to decide my mood for the day. A good review gives me a warm glow that lasts about half an hour. A bad review gives me a gloomy feeling that lasts about two weeks. It should be the other way around.

Once I was at a party talking to group of people I’d never met. We got on to the topic of reviews. A woman who was an opera singer said to me, “What’s the worst review you’ve ever got?” I said, “I don’t want to tell you!” Everyone looked disappointed with me. Then the opera singer shared her worst review (something along the lines of sounding like a shrieking cat) and everybody laughed fondly at her, because she was being self-deprecating and funny. I woke up in the middle of the night after that party filled with self-loathing because I hadn’t been self-deprecating and funny like the opera singer.

It’s possible that I don’t respond to criticism very well. Many years ago when I was working in marketing, my boss gave me a performance appraisal. He made lots of complimentary remarks and then he said – tentatively – “My only negative comment is that maybe you don’t respond to criticism very well.” I was outraged. “What? When exactly? Give me an example of that!” I cried. Eventually he gave up and withdrew the comment. It didn’t seem to occur to him to say, Um, THIS is an example of you not responding well to criticism.

***
Whenever I’m typing I end up with a whole lot of left-over words at the end of the document. It’s like I’m littering words as I write. There are pages and pages of word rubbish. Here’s an example:

I falling asleep e if there’s Armageddon jack. I’m kee never got forward with a pain th took the two cups, and it all happened so smoothly and to rescue her. Jack took the drinsk. I saw Nathan walk towards her, and take one drink, while Jack carried standing there with . I saw Nathan stand up and pick up Ellen’s bag from ehr, lobent down helping herself to a plastic cup of waterf from a wa

Does that happen to everyone? Or am I just a really messy typist, just like I’m a really messy cook? I need to learn to clean up my words as I go, don’t I?

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