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My April

My April... a date night, a writing retreat and a Lost City.

My April ended with a date night in the city with my man.

I love exploring the city and my phone has many (probably too many) photos of the buildings -old and new, the gardens and the people. But, night scenes of Sydney, like this one, remind me how lucky I am to live in this beautiful city. It helped that April provided us with weather suited for a nighttime stroll on the harbour.

“I think Sydney has so much natural beauty; it’s just a beautiful city.” 

-Flume
Image by Joanne VanR – Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrates its 100th birthday in July. The view from Circular Quay during My April.

Two weeks before the Sydney Olympics (2000), we took our kids into the city to soak up the ambience. The sports teams and news crews from all over the world had arrived and the city of Sydney was buzzing. I’m pretty sure the face of my middle child (aka photo bomber) who was ten at the time, and very cheeky, made it on various overseas news channels as we climbed the stairs to the Opera House.

We travelled by ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and were seated near a camera crew from the USA. They had nothing but compliments for Sydney. They loved the harbour and they thought it beautiful, deep and clean. The bonus, they told us, they would not have to look for another location to add scenery to the commentary. Their comments, made us see our city with different eyes and with a new appreciation.

“Sometimes the best things are right in front of you; it just takes time to see them.”

Gladys Knight

What’s been happening?

I went to the Movies –

The Lost City, starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe was Hilarious. We were laughing from the get-go. Sandra plays a romance writer and Channing is her cover model. Here’s the blurb – A reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.

I took notes, (you know, it’s in the movie, it must be right – I’m kidding!)#1 never allow my book agent to pick my clothes for the author talk and #2 never, ever wear a pink sequinned jumpsuit – ever! Also, Channing Tatum – nice bum and Daniel is awesome as the bad guy, even his hair-do looked a little maniacal.

In my March post, I forgot to mention we saw The Book of Love, starring Sam Caflin and Veronica Echegul. Also very funny. Sam’s character wrote a book – said book is boring and dull with no sales. However, the book is immensely popular in Mexico because the translator tweaked it just a little…well – maybe more. This romcom is definitely a chick flick.

The fact that both movies are about authors and their books is pure coincidence.

Writing

At the beginning of April, I submitted the first 1200 pages of my first manuscript to First Pages Prize 2022. I submitted it last year, and was unsuccessful but, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try again after another edit. Wish me luck.

Writing Retreat

Writing with a view when I turned a fishing trip into a writing retreat during My April.
Taking a break
Chatting with the locals

My husband and son invited me to accompany them on their fishing trip to Wyangala Dam located about 50 kilometres southeast of Cowra in Central West NSW. When they said fishing trip, I heard Writing Retreat. I don’t mind fishing, but it’s their hobby. Why would I intrude? I enjoyed two days of beautiful weather, scenery and writing. First thing each morning, after breakfast and the boys, left me in peace, I spent about two hours adding words to my manuscript. Then, to clear my head, I explored the tracks and the lake’s edge. After lunch, I spent a couple of hours working on the edit of manuscript #1. Bliss. The bonus was there was absolutely no phone coverage which equals no wi-fi, which equals no socials to lose myself in. “How’s the serenity.” (the Castle)

Editing –

The same manuscript mentioned above and editing is in process. 1. List scenes – tick; 2. Check for scenes that don’t ask questions or provide answers and discard (there were two) – tick and, 3. Colour in the white room scenes – working on it.

My aim is to spend an hour or so each night editing and I’m enjoying the process, but it is hard not to do line edits. You know – change sentences around and add better words, that sort of thing. It feels like I’m moving slowly, but I know not to rush it.

Current Manuscript and word count for April

I am pleased to say my writing went well this month, with some help from my writing retreat/fishing weekend, and also a determination to get the words written. As a result, the word count at the end of April reached – 96898.

Books

I read it. Action-packed, twists and turns and strong characters. I couldn’t put it down.
I’m currently re-reading it.
My TBR pile. A couple of the books in this photo have been read – it’s an older, convenient photo. But what’s left in the pile is just the tip of the iceberg of books waiting for me to cast my reading eyes upon them.

Still Reading –

Complete World Building, Angeline Trevena (I bought the series) I’m enjoying using it as a reference – there are times I pat myself on the back because Angeline has suggested – do this! and I have already included it in my MS.

Fun Fact

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest steel arch bridge. This means painting is a huge job. One hundred workers and two robots are employed to paint the bridge. By the time painting is finished they have to start again. You’d have to love your job, wouldn’t you?

There you go, that was My April. I had hoped I’d finish manuscript #2 but I still have a ways to go. I’m not disappointed and am building up to the peak. I love this process. What did your April look like?

If you are writing, where is your favourite place to write?

What are you reading? Where do you like to read?

Stay safe everyone.

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2 thoughts on “My April”

  1. Hi Jo, what an interesting month! Congratulations on your new blog, I’m in awe of your “make it happen” attitude Please do put FB reminder out when new blogs are up! Cheers Simone

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