Kate is doing NaNoWriMo and it’s down to the wire

Yes, I’m still here!  I’ve lost about half the month (careless of me, I know) due to life stuff happening, but I’m back with a vengeance.  I can still do it – or at least have a red hot go!  10,771 words today – bringing my total to 27,417.  I basically scrapped my original idea and am going with a new one – another Kylie Cooper (teenage witch) mystery (this will be her third).  As soon as I slipped back into her skin, I knew the words would come.

So, I’m planning on putting in another marathon effort tomorrow (or rather today, after I’ve had some sleep), and hopefully I can still make it.

Because failure is not an option.

#amwriting #NaNoWriMo

Kids grow up and have adventures…

The Ten Penners Christmas meeting will be at Marion’s pool side common area on the 3rd December. We are looking forward to sharing our joy of creating stories then along with delicious treats.

marion-and-jason-with-starla-and-partner-formal-nightMarion has just seen her beautiful daughter Starla go to her school formal. She is now free to explore a graphic design course next year. And it seemed like yesterday she was in our little Fan-tas-tic-al Tales launch play at Gold Coast Writers meeting in 2009.

Reflecting that the children in our lives are growing up fast. My heather-in-the-tree-great-shot-oct16grand daughters are now six and seven and exploring the world in ways we could never have imagined in our childhood.

They have never known a world without colour tv’s, computers or iphones.

When Maria did a school assignment she asked me about my life growing up and one question was – did you have a horse and cart? I’m not quite that old, I replied. But my grandmother did.


So far our next anthology has a variety of stories from aliens visiting Earth and finding us too hostile. Some picture poetry, a follow up to a story in Fan-tas-tic-al Tales called Red Beard the Pirate, another about a shrinking boy, a novella about a flying boy, a little girl who has a best friend in her talking teddy bear who manages to get her into trouble and then saves her – twice. It’s all coming together and we hope to be on track to publish in the first half of next year.

Reading and reviewing Terry Spring

terry-spring-and-homeland-security-guysI love reading and reviewing books, sometimes friends of mine ask me to read their manuscripts and give reviews. The latest of these called ‘That September’ by Terry Spring, which is a murder mystery. I loved it and will gladly recommend the book once it is published.


My friend Terry Spring is a very talented writer of numerous books including; ‘Rainbows End At Double Bay’ her first novel, ‘Transported – A Pioneer’s Story’. ‘Transported’ is the type of story that makes the reader want to research their own family history and ‘Twenty Two Truly Twisted Tales’ a compilation of short stories. She is also a ghost writer and Lucy Me is a good example.

'Transported' - Terry Springtransported_book_cover Terry Spring22_twisted_cover_white_bg Terry Springrainbows_end_book_Terry Spring

To order any of Terry Spring’s books
by cheque or bank transfer email terryspring@optusnet.com.au or
phone: 0412 618 088

Kate Russell is doing NaNoWriMo…

NaNoWriMo – Day 10

Well, I’m finally back after a few days of work and family dramas.  Hopefully I can get back on track now!  2,091 words tonight, bringing my total to 10,711.  If I average 1,800 to 2,000 words a night, I should still be okay.  Still very doable!

It is a bit of a struggle though.  I’m just not feeling the story as much as I’d like!  I think it’s a bit too serious or something – I don’t think I do serious as well as I do funny.  Maybe that’s why I’m struggling so much – trying to go against what my heart really wants to write.  Perhaps I’ll shake it up a bit tomorrow and throw in some clowns or something!

kate-bio-picWhich reminds me of that old joke:

Two cannibals were eating a clown, and one cannibal turns to the other and says:  “Does this taste funny to you?”

Sorry about that.  #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – Day 2

Kate you are amazing, so much in November, even your birthday on the 18th I think. See you Saturday!

Kate Russell - Writer

1,751 words tonight, which brings my total so far to 3,450.  Yay!  Just ahead of the average words needed per day.  Hopefully I can keep this up and not get behind like I have every other year…  But it’s November, and stuff happens (my birthday, wedding anniversary, Supanova etc!) so I’m bound to skip a few days.  But so far, so good!

I’m still not sure where this novel is going to go, but so far I’ve got a widowed clockmaker, his daughter, long lost relatives, and a romance that started across the sea.

I wonder what will happen next?  #amwriting #NaNoWriMo

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Halloween hangover…

kate-r-halloween-head-shot-oct16This is Kate channeling her inner Kylie Cooper for Halloween. If you don’t know who Kylie Cooper is you need to buy a copy of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales for the youngster or young at heart in your life. It would be a great Christmas present and its only $3.99 on Amazonkate-r-halloween-oct16


The Ten Penners will be having our next monthly meeting at Broadbeach Library Community Room on Saturday 5th November from 10 am to 12 noon. We are working on our next anthology with cover ideas, new stories being written.

The Ten Penners Anthology project …

It’s a five week month. So, we have to wait a bit longer for our face to face catch up. But, there’s been a lot going in the Anthology Project page on FaceBook. Stories, titles, and cover ideas. It’s all happening! Our new members Julie Baythorpe, Elli Housden and Louisa Wright will add a new texture to our stories. Perhaps we could persuade Jill Ford (yes the other Jill) to return to add her wit and quirky stories to the mix?

Hazel Barker books info …

I’m delighted that Hazel enjoyed my review of her book. I’ve now added her other books on my Goodreads to read list. This is her comment about my review of Heaven Tempers the Wind – Story of a War Child.heaven-tempers-the-wind-hazel-barker-cover

hazel-barker-profile-picThank you for such a wonderful review, Jill. Your followers may also like to read my debut novel, ‘Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie.’ Both books are stories about World War II. ‘Heaven Tempers the Wind’ is set in Burma and ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is set in the UK, India and China.
See: http://hazelmbarker.wixsite.com/author
and http://hazelmbarker@wordpress.com

Heaven Tempers the Wind Book review by Jill Smith

Book Review by Jill Smith©Oct16

Title: Heaven Tempers the Wind – Story of a War Child

Author: Hazel Barker

Publisher: Armour Books


This is a memoir of a lovely lady I know through the Writers club. Hazel is a gentle soul with eyes that view the world in a positive light.

This story is a horrendous journey through a little girls’ eyes. I love how she describes her early life in Rangoon. The attack on Burma by the Japanese forces her family to escape capture.  Hazel kisses her dolls goodbye when they leave expecting to return. Her innocent belief was that they were going on holiday.  The attack on Rangoon began on the 23rd December 1941. It was four long years suffering hunger and deprivation that they existed.

Hazels’ father, mother, older sister, two older brothers,hazel-barker-profile-pic younger disabled brother and nanny leave their safe world. They begin their journey away from the bombing, by car, expecting to find shelter as they go, as her father was a British official. They soon leave the car to walk with the growing throng of refugees running from one camp to another.

United as a family. The children and wife, have the added battle of surviving an abusive alcoholic father. His Muslim belief were at odds with her mother’s Catholic grounding. Hazel adored her mother and became wary of her father.

The book ended on a hopeful note. Although now, their prisoner is their father.

I wonder how Hazel survived after seeing so much horror to become the beautiful person she is today. Her mother instilling a love of literature, reading and imagination helped her cope.

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