Monday, July 27, 2009

Just a quickie...

Aerin, JC, Precie? Report in! JC, once you were my you're on extreme. With, um, me. I will be redeeming my ways this week, how about you?!

No idea where my badge of humiliation has gone, will track it down later. Right now I'm off to pick up my latest ebay purchase, this being, of course, the manner in which we plan to furnish giant new house. Flash, eh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Princess Priceless

I have lectured both of my kids on the evils of the phrase 'talk to the hand'. Of all the things they can say to me, it is the one most likely to cause me to hit the roof. There's just something about the sheer insolence of it that causes an instant kaboom-flying-plates-and-unearthly-screaming reaction in me.

So the other day, as I remonstrated gently and utterly reasonably with Princess about some minor misdemeanour, she comes out with 'speak to the hand'. After I come down from the roof and start picking up the plates I realise she is gibbering repeatedly: 'but it's not rude, it's not rude, I said speak to the hand, not talk to the hand.'

Is it me or is it her?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Koala updates

Paca post still active below!

No movement on the house at the moment, but somebody came for the third time on Saturday, so surely they must like it at least a little bit? Mind you, I once went to a house five times and then bought a different one. Hey, it was a hard decision.

Koala stats updated. Aerin, I know you've written at least 250 words, but July does not exist on your stats counter, so it's a downward trend for you my friend... Robin, both June and July are invisible to you apparently. JC, love the new look of your blog, but the wordage is low... BT and Janey, have you decided it's safer to remain on Smackdown forever? Everybody else is moving forwards, despite the summer madness - Koala kisses, mwah, mwah.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Partying with the Paca

What with holidays and work and eucalypt open houses, I was just far too busy to take any time off, however, my good friend Shona volunteered to make up for my neglect and head out for the first ever Minions Downunder gathering. Let me hand over to Shona...

It took us all week to decide on the most appropriate location for the first Minions Downunder meeting - it had to be easy to find, on the route to Melbourne and be at least slightly interesting. Hence, Kiama, and its 'famous' blowhole. I vaguely said to Paca - just come off the highway and keep turning left, there will be lots of signposts, you can't miss it. See the potential flaw in that plan? No, Paca does know his left from his right, that's not it. Yup, no signposts. The biggest tourist attraction in the area and it has no signposts. This did not surprise Paca, with his 24-hour experience of driving in Australia. However, the 'keep turning left' advice turned out to be remarkably sage and we managed to meet up.

Alas, the famed blowhole was not blowing, in fact, it was barely breathing. I did, however, manage to photograph Paca in front of a little puff:

We muttered about the so-called 'Little Blowhole', which supposedly gives a better show in moderate seas, but that idea got no further than muttering. As it was completely freezing, we completed our five-minute tour of the local non-event and headed for lunch at that wondrous cultural spot, the local RSL. For more detail on that, and Paca's side of the story, go here.

We fought valiantly through our massive portions (you're in the country now, Mr Shona kept telling us), while catching up - or learning about one another, because, as Paca pointed out we know more about one another's WIPs than our actual lives. There was no alcohol, alas, because we all had to drive afterwards. But it was wonderful to meet Paca in real life; we all had such a nice time. Princess, who is as sassy as Princess Koala, was not 100% well and thus was more whingeing than amusing, but Soccer Boy conducted himself fairly well, even though there was no soccer ball in sight.

In retrospect, when Paca mentioned perhaps going bushwalking, we may have regaled him with a few too many spider and snake stories, to the point where we realised in the car on the way home that he will probably never step off Australian pavement. Honestly, some people do survive! Even that British guy we were talking about at lunch, who headed out with no phone, no food, no water, no map, no idea where he was going and, oh yeah, didn't leave a message to say where he was going. He made it!

Once we had parted, sniff, sniff, and Paca had driven off in his Flying Pea, we had a quick kick of the ball in the park, and then decided, seeing as we were here, we might go and check out the Little Blowhole. Guess what. That one was signposted. And guess what (Paca, don't cry) - action!

See, look, the sun even came out. And, for little people fans (Robin):

No, Soccer Boy is not unusually short, he's standing in a hole for some reason! Note beautiful necklaces, a gift from Paca. They are made from a kind of seed, the name of which I have completely forgotten, but perhaps he will remind me in a comment :-). I told Soccer Boy he could take his to school for news, but he said: 'no way, it's much too precious' - so, Paca, I think he liked it!

So, who's up for the next Minions Downunder meeting?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I know, I know

I've failed you in so many ways. I've returned to my sporadic updating habits and the Koala Stats are screaming out for another update (but that doesn't mean I will not be checking up on you my little possums, because I will be, and Precie and Sarah are in my good books for reporting in right here, my little angel possums, as for the rest of you, if you haven't been firing out plenty of wordage, you will not hear the Koala's wrath approaching until my claws are sinking into your I make myself clear?).

So, what have I been doing? Well it's Baby Koala Vacation time, so I'm trying to be a good parent, while dealing with the whole house viewing thing that's going on. Amusing baby Koalas and keeping a house clean and tidy are completely contradictory situations. Plus, Princess turns six tomorrow! My baby's getting bigger!

In the midst of all this, I'm trying to edit The Woman in the Wall, while the next novel idea is scrambling around in my head, and another short story is squeezing its way out through my blood vessels. Phew.

And on the weekend, we saw someone very special... Photo coming up soon!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Will of a Princess is a Mighty Thing

Yesterday morning, Princess mentioned to Mr Koala that she had a sore throat and wasn't feeling well. Ah, says Mr Koala, well, if you need a day off school then you can't go to Princess Chum's birthday party tonight. 'I feel fine,' says Princess and trots off to school. And gets through the whole day. And an hour at home. And gets to the party and lasts an hour, then bursts into tears, confesses to Princess Chum's Mum that she feels really sick, then flops on the sofa and falls asleep right in the middle of the party games.

Poor old Princess. Willpower only gets you so far.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

But, meanwhile, back at the coal face...

I started well last week, writing, editing and sending off a short story to a women's mag (Mr Koala says I must earn more hard cash to pay for the new eucalypt, so I thought I'd try the fun way first). Then it was a slippery slope straight back down to the production of nothing. More of a precipice, really, a smooth one, and well-greased too.

However, today I am going to print out my first draft of The Woman in the Wall and get down to some serious editing. Beta readers - watch out. I hope it will be with you in a month or so. Some of you actually volunteered, you mad things! I'll be calling on you soon... Mwah!

All estmated timings, of course, depend on what kind of a state manuscript turns out to be in once I print it. I'm cautiously optimistic and also really looking forward to reading it again - particularly because when I read over the first 20,000 words a few months ago, having abandoned it for a while, I was quite impressed in a 'what? did I really write this?' kind of a way, so I hope I have the same feeling after reading the whole story. There will be endless logistics to sort out, of course, which is where you come in, my darlings.

And, in the meantime, I'm going to keep a fertile little corner of my mind turned over and ready for short story ideas for womens' mags - there's money in them there hills, my friends, and it's saved me from the wrath of Mr Koala in the past (writing? pah! waste of time! oh, did you say something about a cheque... that's good, keep writing then...).

And I'll be doing a Koala Check in the next 24 hours or so to see who needs to join me in a rankings slide, so get those stats up to date sharpish.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

New eucalypt!

After many offstage dramas, with which I shall not burden you, given that you have lives, we have bagged a new eucalypt! Quiet road, seriously massive back yard, pool and a much more sensible layout of house, all of which we will actually use. The Baby Koalas are in ecstasy due to the size of the back yard. I am quietly triumphant due to the back yard, and the amount of time the Baby Koalas will be spending in it, after Mummy locks the back door. Heh heh.

The current eucalypt has its first open house on Saturday, so cross those claws for us!