Christmas Calendar 2017 #6

I am good at starting and making plans to seek the truth about my goals. Where I get stuck is finishing them off. I am often distracted along the way by great excuses, but they don’t help.

The main truth I want to achieve in 2018 is to be a published writer. In order to get there I need to focus on completing the editing phase and pluck up the courage to hand my manuscript over to my publisher. It has come along way since the first draft many years ago, so let’s bring on its time to shine.


Coffee Catch-Up #13

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am looking forward to my first shift at my new hospital on Monday. It’s been 8 years since I have worked as a nurse on the floor helping patients and I didn’t realize how much I had missed this special contact.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I meet with the collaborator of my book last Monday for the first time in 3 months. I was pleased she loved the changes that I had made because it gives me confidence that my thoughts on the book progress are true. Although, it feels like the end is getting closer, I know there is still a lot of work to be done. However, I am still aiming to finish my part by end of this year.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had a fun time at the supermarket this morning seeing if I could guess the amount of sugar in the foods I normally eat. I was pretty accurate so I think I will be able limit my sugar intake to 24 grams daily most of the time. If you are confused by this statement you can catch up here Today is day 3 and I am feeling good this morning as I slept so much better last night.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week I that to insert my drawings into my book this week I discovered that I need to draw them in Microsoft’s Paint program. I have never used it before but as I get better at using it, this program will leave me with a more professional drawings, which will be good. I would also ask if you have used Paint and have any tips for me. Just for fun I’ll show you my first very basic drawing on Paint.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that I won my Toastmasters Club Table Topics competition last week. This is an impromptu speaking contest where you are giving the topics literally seconds before you speak to it. I think my blogging experience helped me and now I move to the Area competition at the end of September.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 30

Do you prefer a bath or shower?

I love a soak in a deep, bubbly bath sipping on a glass of champagne whilst reading chick lit. It my total escapism. Unfortunately, it rarely happens these days due to my lack of time or access to a deep bath.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

As we are in the process of moving and redesigning our house I would choose a store that is Australian and covers electrical, computers and furniture that we like. So historically for us that would be Harvey Norman. Over the years we have shopped there regularly and we even have made a special connection with one of the computer department staff and he has never guided us badly.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be?

Age is a funny thing and I believe you are only as old as you feel. My life is great now, I am moving into semi-retirement and finally have some money if I wish to buy any thing or travel. My body could be a bit fitter but that is actually up to me as medically I have no problems. The other advantage of remaining at this age may be that nothing deteriorates any more. So a WIN WIN for everyone.

List at least five movies that cheer you up.

Movies that cheer me up are a bit tricky as most of my favourites are tearjerkers. So after thinking hard I came up with:

  1. Suddenly 30
  2. Father of the Bride
  3. Parent Trap
  4. The Lion King
  5. Frozen

Yes! You could describe me as a kid at heart.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week I was grateful to get my contract for my new job. This week I am looking forward to getting a start date and working with my collaborator as my book gets closer to completion.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 30


Coffee Catch-Up #11

If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I am this week to finally have enough energy back that I plan on returning to aqua aerobics this week. Although it hasn’t been all bad as it was very easy to justify not going out in the cold and wet when I wasn’t feeling up to par.

If we were having coffee I would tell you what an inspiring week I have had being a full-time writer. Prior to this I have written and edited most of my book in whatever spare time I have had. This week by being able to just spend all my time on my book, I have noticed my focus change. Now I think I am much more creative. Every day I come up with new ideas as to how to improve its flow. So, this week when I had to stop to complete other important tasks I didn’t want to. After having the weekend off to work on my blog and family life I am excited to see how much closer to completion this week takes me.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about our cats first experience with a kookaburra this morning. He regularly walks up and down our side fence keeping guard making sure we are safe from predators. Today however in the gum tree just off our boundary a kookaburra came and sat. Yes, the kookaburra was sitting in the old gum tree as the Australian classic song suggests, minding his own business. Out cat however wasn’t happy. He stood under the tree on the fence and looked like he was going to attempt to get him, although the reality was the distance was too great. We decided however in the interest of encouraging our new friend to visit for longer, we would distract the cat.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I enjoy books. I always have and I always will. So much so that when we move I plan on making myself a library room where I can enjoy all of my books together in one place unlike scattered throughout the house like they are now. Yesterday, as part of this challenge I began sorting the first of many bookcases. As I put the books into boxes to move I have decided to divide them into 4 sections:

  • Children
  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Reference

Going through my books I enjoyed many memories as I remember the circumstances of each book either as a purchase or as a gift. Something tells me I am not going to be very good at throwing many of them out as I’m too much of a sentimentalist.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I am loving the readability score in WordPress. I challenge myself to make sure all of my posts stay in the green or good rating. Should they slip into an orange or red ranking I rewrite the sentence until the readability improves. This is definitely helping my writing style and minimizing my need to edit later.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what was happening in your world?

Hand It Over

It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. These were the words that were going through my head as I was plucking up the courage to hand over my book’s complete and printed first draft. I remember telling myself, “it actually looks like a book.” I was so proud. If only I could keep my treasure to myself. However, the purpose of writing a book is to share knowledge, so I knew I had to hand it over to others – colleagues, patients, family and friends. Now was the time. It was never going to get any easier, but my thoughts and emotions were overwhelming.

What if they don’t like it?

What if people find it offensive and don’t like hearing the truth?

Was my writing good enough?

Why should people listen to what I had to say about eating disorder recovery?

Were my points clear?

What if it confused people?

These and many other questions could only be answered by you guessed it – seeking feedback. So in nervous anticipation, I made a plan and handed my baby over.

“Wow this is impressive” was the initial reaction after a quick flick through the 200 page document. My heart settled. I had done it. I had made the first steps in putting my work out there for others to scrutinize.  To my surprise it felt good. I knew that the making of a book is not in the writing but in the readers thoughts, opinions and acceptance. And so began my change process. I took all the feedback from my 50 or more readers I had handed a copy of my book. I began to enjoy hearing or reading what they had to say with everyone giving me different and valuable insights into how the world interpreted my writing.

Now, 3 years on from my first time, my book has it 3rd working title, which I think will be its last, but who knows. My next challenge is to finish wrapping it up and ensuring that every point I have made has a purpose before sending it to the editor for the first time, which will start the actual publishing process.

What do you need to do for the first time that although scary has the potential to change your life in some way? Remember, sometimes there is no easy way. You just have to hand it over and allow the process to begin.

My second working title

My second working title



Raison D’être

On Mother’s Day 2014, I started Inspiring Max. I had researched and considered my options for 5 years before I finally plucked up the courage to put myself out there. Up to this point, I had lived me life in secret but knew to achieve my dreams something had to change. You see after completing several writing courses I knew that to improve my very remote chance of my book being published by a publishing house, I needed to start a blog. Although my blog was never going to be related to my book’s subject—eating disorder recovery—it has helped me develop my voice.

Over the past 2 years, today is Mother’s Day 2016, Inspiring Max and I have developed in ways I never thought possible.  I am so pleased that finishing my book and needing to think about publication pushed me out of my comfort zone and into the blogosphere. Because of blogging I have grown not only as a writer but also as an editor. Another great blessing I have received through Inspiring Max’s blogging community is great feedback, which ensures that I write in a way my audience understands my meaning. This gives me confidence in my writing style and helps me to minimise confusion, which hopefully I have transferred to my book – I’M SO OVER THIS!….. A Skill-Based Guide To Eating Disorder Recovery.  At present, I think I am still on track to self-publish it in the second half of 2016.

Whatever your reason for blogging, if you are still in the contemplative stage give it a try, you’ll be pleased you did. There literally is an audience out there for everyone.

Coffee Catch-up #5

If we were having coffee I would apologise for missing our coffee catch-up last month. Then we would make a plan to get together more regularly as we miss each others company. We would also use this time to remind ourselves that somethings need prioritizing. To help me with this task, this morning I discovered the  #weekendcoffeeshare  community and plan on joining in the fun.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about a minor work accident which resulted in my wedding and engagement rings needing to be cut off my finger in the emergency department on the 27th anniversary of meeting my husband. I was absent mindedly closing the sliding door behind to make sure confidentiality was maintained as I left the room, when it shut so fast that my left hand smashed against the metal plate totally squashing my rings into my hand. Fortunately, the diamonds don’t seem to be damaged.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that after a meeting with my collaborator we have decided to change the name of my book on eating disorder recovery from Inspiring Hope to “I’m so over this…” —practical ways eating disorder recovery is possible, which we are quite excited about. Feedback from patients has been great, as they all agree this is a statement that personally resonates with them.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I achieved my Advanced Communicator Bronze as well as my Competent Leadership Awards over the last two months. I am embarrassed to say that my CL actually took 5 years to complete due to my slackness.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed Easter Sunday last week. We had a small immediate family gathering and two Easter egg hunts — one for the adult kids and one for the parents. It was great fun with lots of laughs. After a BBQ lunch, we played Wii games which nicely finished with each team—ours, my son’s team and my daughters team winning a game. It couldn’t have been fairer if we’d tried.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have doing in the last few months. Let me know in the comments? If you are interested in previously coffee catch-ups see the link below.

Coffee Catch-up #4

Share Your World – 2015 Week 41

What genre of music do you like?

I like multiple genres of music. The determining factor for me is that the music must have meaningful words. I don’t like music styles without words such as classical, nor do I like heavy metal or songs that repeat the same words over again.  The more meaning and motivation behind the song the better. One of my favourite songs, Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman has motivated me over many decades.

What is the worst thing you ate this last week?

I rarely eat takeaway food however last Friday my husband and I shared some fresh, yummy, crispy hand battered potato scallops. Many years ago good potato scallops were everywhere however these days prepackaged frozen ones have taken over and in my opinion they are not worth eating.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Photo Credit: Google Images

Would you like to be famous?  In what way?

I don’t wish to be famous in a way that my life is directed by others. However as a writer, when I publish my book next year I would like to be well known and respected for my expertise and if this leads to fame I will enjoy the journey.

Complete this sentence:  This sandwich could really use some …

Rocket and chilli sauce as it needs spicing up.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful to perform well enough at my Area Table topics competition for Toastmasters to come 3rd. In the coming week I am looking forward to having some me time as life has been very busy lately.


Writing was not a skill that came naturally to me. However, the more I wrote the easier it became. And the more I loved it. When I began my book in 2009, my style was very formal. “It doesn’t sound like you and that’s what works” was the feedback I was given. I considered this statement briefly and knew it was correct. I had to find my voice. Editing my book helped me do this and I have carried this voice onto my blog.

For me, writing begins in my head. I think about the topic I want to write about and make a plan as I go about my daily business, which sparks an angle for me to come from. Then I take my plan and write my thoughts out by hand. To make this easier I always carry paper in my handbag in case inspiration strikes.

These days I mostly write at my desk. However, I can and have written anywhere and everywhere—3/4 of my book was written on the train during my daily commute. The big problem of writing everyday is lack of ideas. I am looking for inspiration and to make sure I am giving you my reader what you want I would like your ideas. Please take a moment to complete the attached poll–I thank you for your opinion.