The week in review #1

Do you ever feel like you get nothing done? And you can’t believe you wasted all those hours with zilch to show for your effort? what sandy did

I’m like that most of the time. I read a few productivity blogs (maybe that’s where the time goes!) and I learned that even though I might think I achieve nothing, I would be very surprised if I made a list.  So each week I’m making a list and already feeling better for it.

What I wrote

  • Almost final edits to 17 chapters of my WIP. The chapters aren’t as long as my usual ones but the total word count is eerily the same as always (42,000 words)
  • Post on cyber safety for young children for Brisbane Kids where I’m now the Technology Blogger

What I read

  • The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader – a marvellous Oz debut historical fiction novel about a fascinating corner of medieval history  I hadn’t even heard about. I’ll be reviewing it on The Reading Stack this week.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Second time round. Why? Read on…

Gems I found in the Ether

  • More Gaiman – This post on the Striking Keys blog made me rethink my own approach and re-read The Ocean at The End of the Lane.
  • Where the Magic Happens for Cath Crowley – As an unashamed Cath Crowley fan who remains in awe of the beautiful language in Graffiti Moon, how could I not love this post on Kirsty Eager’s blog?
  • How to survive as an illustrator – Advice for a student On James Foley’s blog was some of the best advice I’ve read. It’s equally applicable to writers and not too far removed from my experience.
  • Top Tips for Great Storytelling – An excellent resource from the wonderful Story Box Library where I’m a subscriber.
  • Meet the Rarest Natural Element on Earth – The Science Alert blog always has super interesting information. I often find myself thinking – now there’s an element for a science fantasy story. Fact truly is sometimes stranger than fiction. There’s less than 30g of Astatine in the Earth’s crust at any time.
  • University Study Regrets and Insecurities – From Susan Whelan at ReadingUpsideDown, this post struck a kindred spirit chord and inspired a blog post of my own (to be posted later this week).

What I learned

  • How to tag notes in Evernote – I have 172 notes and they are now all tagged!
  • To use Google Drive and to be a more practised user of gMail and Google Docs. I don’t like them much but I need them for an external project I’m working on with a friend. My only Google product of choice is Google Calendar.

What I discovered scoop-it

  • Pablo. Buffer’s new product to create social media banners. My first attempt is on this blog. I can see some educational and promotional uses for Pablo too. The good thing is the claim that you can do in 30 secs is almost true. It took me longer because I didn’t want one of the offered backgrounds and uploaded my own. Even then, it only took 3 mins and was brilliantly easy.

Other stuff

  • I had a long overdue lunch with my first writing mentor, Di Bates. Some know her as a prolific author, the dynamo behind the Buzz Words and The Australian Children’s Poetry website (now managed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan) but for me, she’s the lady who inspired me to get serious about writing and in the process, became a valued friend.
  • I distributed a new OZKYAI (OZ Kids & Young adult Authors & Illustrators) It’s an awful acronym but it’s a great read. This Scoop-IT curation contains recent blog post snippets (with click through links) from Australia’ s wonderful literary creatives for young people. I love showing off the work of my friends and colleagues.



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