Monday, 22 October 2018

Getting Ready...

Image result for moving vanI get the keys to my new house on November 2nd so not long now before I move in, the next 2 weeks won't go quick enough!

Madly packing still but at last I can see the end of it. There are a lot of empty cupboards, my garage is cleared out - still have half the shed left to clear out and there are a few more areas in the house that will need packing.

Got my removalists all booked. Gas, water and electricity are organised and so is my Internet connection so hopefully everything runs smoothly.

The past few months have been chaotic and I know the first half of the next one will be also but then I will be able to relax. My poor elbow is so painful, had to have an x-ray and ultrasound done on it to make sure I hadn't done something silly like break it again. Thankfully I hadn't but the tendon attached to the medial epicondyle is extremely inflamed and there is also a small tear.

Had some physio on it but as the therapist said it isn't going to get better until I can let it relax and not put it under so much strain. I'm living on ibuprofen and continually rubbing in voltaren gel trying to get through the pain. Hope once I can rest it properly it will begin to heal.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Yipeee...

Whoohoo!

Contracts signed... just waiting on a document then I'll own a new place in 4 weeks!

Most older folk downsize... not me I upsized - haha. My old house is 18.5sq but this is 23sq and a lot of land. Fozzie is going to go crazy with all the room to run about it.

Best part is I can move in 2 weeks before settlement rent free! So very soon it will be goodbye Blacktown and hello to the rest of my life in a wonderful peaceful area.



Next two weeks will be slightly crazy as I finish clearing out my old junk and packing the remainder of my things. The Salvation Army will need to open a new store with the amount of things I have already, and will be, giving them.

It's a fresh start in more ways than one.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

Whoohoo...



After just 3 Open Homes - success!

Buyer came to the first Open Home and my agent has been negotiating ever since. Contracts exchanged and signed yesterday, and 10% deposit paid.

Now to find my new house...lol.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Crazy Days...

One of the downsides of being an author, beside coming up with new stories, is promotion. Social media is the easiest way but even so it takes up so much time. By the time you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr a day is wasted. Then you have to keep your blog and website updated. Thankfully you can link some of them so when you post on one, it posts to another.

Image result for housing market dropFortunately most authors are a friendly bunch and we tend to try and help each other with promo. For example I did an interview the other day for another romance author. I try to only work on day a week on promo otherwise I'd be spending my life on Social Media...lol  (You can read the interview here - http://tenderlywicked.tumblr.com/)  It's nice to know that people still like to help each other. In a world going crazy it's heart-warming to know.

My third Open House is coming up. It's getting closer to the Auction date but I know my agents are hoping they can sell beforehand. The whole thing is so damn nerve wracking. On top of that the house prices in Sydney & suburbs are taking a nose-dive while those in the area I want to live are stable.

I've given my agents a figure that I won't go below so now I'm panicking. Will the market keep going on this downward spiral?  The prediction is another 40% drop in Sydney and Melbourne. Just how long until that happens is unknown but the decline has started. So I worry am I going to get my price or am I going to have to stay here?

It wouldn't be so bad if the market was the same where I want to go but by being stable means I have to put a base figure down. I had to decide on a figure that I wouldn't sell below. If I knew one way or the other I could handle it. But this unpredictability is bloody tense.

The uncertainty is so stressful - I can't even get into writing...lol. Instead I'm sticking my nose in books - bought a few more) by the time I do move I'll have bought enough books to fill another bookcase).

Next month Matthew Reilly's latest in his Jack West series - The Three Secret Cities - comes out  and I can't wait. I love this series, love the fast pace edge of your seat action!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

This and That...

Argh... more emails to add to the block list. Things in my inbox had been quiet but yesterday and today another dozen scammers filled my inbox. Honestly why on earth these idiots bother is beyond me.

Also got an email from someone who had been on my website and read blurbs/extracts from my books. She hadn't actually read any but decided she should write to tell me how wicked I am for writing disgusting books and that she hated me.

It really shocked me. How on earth can you hate someone?

I can honestly say there is no-one I hate - there are people I dislike, some I am indifferent to or ambivalent about but I certainly don't hate anyone, never have, never will. Yet here is someone who doesn't know me, never met me, never read my books yet she feels it is important to send me this horrid email!

I know I should just ignore it because it actually made me feel awful. I trashed it immediately after but unfortunately I'd read it.

People should remember that words hurt. Before you say or write something to someone, take a moment to think. If it's something you wouldn't like to receive or hear then don't say it or send it.

On a brighter note I had some people come through the house today. Not sold yet but at least there is plenty of interest in my house. I've tried to resist looking at houses in the areas I want to live but I can't help sneaking a peek still....lol. As usual I found some houses I'd love to live in. Just hope when the time come I have a few to choose from.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

First Open House Done...

Well I had my first open house. A mad panic to get the house looking 'spectacular' and inviting. My agent told me I've had over 600 hits on realestate.com.au which apparently is super good as it's only been online a few days.

Anyway, there were 5 groups who came through so now it's just a waiting game until someone comes through the door and falls in love (and offers top dollar...lol).

I had to laugh, when the photographer was coming - I 'dressed' all the rooms. Guess what? He moved everything! The bathrooms looked great with dark grey towels and lots of plants. They both ended up stripped of most including the loo paper...lol

 He moved most of my plants that are scattered throughout the house yet when I had the open house my agent said people complimented the house AND the plants...haha

So now comes the waiting and wondering. I've tried to resist looking at houses in the area I want to buy - I keep seeing places I'd love to live in. I think it means I shouldn't have too much trouble finding something I like when this house is sold.

Younger son sent me a pic of the family relaxing with a caption "Living the life. Hurry up Suzy Shearer Parkes." How mean is that!  

Well at least I'm pretty sure this time next year it will be my feet you can see 😉😏

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Thursday, 6 September 2018

House Organised and Musings...

Photos all done. House in order. Next week is it!

It was raining the day they took the photos but still managed to get a great photo of the outside.

Now the photos have been taken, agent suggested I get rid of as much furniture as I can to make the house almost empty. Apparently it makes the rooms look bigger and prospective buyers can imagine their own furniture in the room/s.

I've put as much as I can out into the garage. Most rooms except my bedroom haven't much in them now, the lounge room just has the TV/cabinet and the lounge suite. Family room just the dining table and one cabinet. Other rooms  are almost bare. Packed the spare beds away which means there are no extra beds for people to stay - unless they sleep on the floor...lol. If I thought the place was empty before and echoing now it's even more so!

Now the mad clean-up is over I can kind of relax. There is still another skip bin to order and more junk to get rid of but that won't affect 'open house' days as the 'stuff' is in the back shed and the garage.

Image result for book seriesFrom next week I intend to go through a cupboard a day and pack things I know I won't be using so there won't be a mad last minute panic when I do eventually sell and buy a new place.

In the meantime I bought myself three books to read (I know, they won't last very long) and I will get stuck into writing. I submitted book 3 in my latest series to my publisher and really need to get into writing the next books that follow 3.

 I had another look around the areas I've been thinking of buying in and thankfully I still love them all. I guess now comes the (im)patient waiting to sell this. This week has been good for my aching bones although my elbow is still causing a lot of pain. Feeling a lot happier in myself. It was so draining physically and emotionally the past two months. Not only because of all the work I had to do but also casting aside 42 years of memories - good and bad.

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At times I was almost lost in a deep hole - so many horrid memories both old and new, but thankfully I don't think I will ever sink as low as several times before. Stronger and resilient, I won't be tempted again.

The last time I was in a dark, bad place and without anyone to turn to but strangely it made me face the pain with new resolve. I realised I wasn't worthless, I wasn't crazy or some stupid old woman. I was, and am, smart, talented in some things, maybe a little off-centre but still a woman who has something to say, something to give. A woman whose happiness is never dependent on others but who can laugh in the rain and at herself.

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Maybe it made me older and wiser, I honestly don't know but in a way it made me stronger and more able to withstand. I now know I have lots to look forward to, lots to give, lots to learn, lots to see. It gave me the strength to accept being alone, to see the positives in it and to embrace it.
Image result for bring it on  i'm readyI know I will still hide behind my masks, use my happy persona facade but inside instead of treading a fine black line, I am happy at last. No-one can take that away from me and I refuse to ever let another person influence me. Instead the world is mine for the taking and I have grasped it with both hands.

Bring it on!!

Oh my - how on earth did I get onto that? I was going to delete it then I thought someone who struggles may read it and think 'if she managed to get past her pain then so can I' so I've left it in. Who knows? There are times when things happen that are painful and you have little or no control over them. You can either let it hurt you or use it wisely. You can let it change you and embrace it. I learnt that the hard way.  Life is for living and experiencing both the good and the bad, so grab it with both hands.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Junk Email and Spammers...

Image result for spammerFor the past week my inbox has been filled with Spam and Junk mail - a lot more than usual.

Five from 'Apple', each with a different email address, telling me they have frozen my account. Guess what I don't have one! Four from various banks (none of which I use) asking me to put in my details so they can update their system.

Image result for spammerAn interesting one from the 'taxation office' telling me they 'made a mistake' and I am now entitled to a $9674 refund. Not only was there no 'letterhead' etc - it was addressed to 'suzannerparkes@gmail.com' - mmm.

Two from people who 'swear they are honest' asking me to help them access their millions, one informing me I had won some lottery that I didn't buy a ticket for and finally three telling me I would make them a wonderful husband.... hahaha.

Beats me why all of a sudden there is this huge upsurge in spam. Regardless I added all the addresses to my block list. I started that years ago when all the spam, unwanted emails and junk was getting tedious, means I don't even see them as they are deleted on my server. 

Now I don't get much at all so this increase was a surprise. Maybe it was because of my new email addresses even though my old block list migrated across or maybe there is a new wave of spammers trying to rip people off.

I guess they figure if they flood inboxes some gullible person will click the link and give them access. Even when I get emails from legitimate sources I never click links, rather I enter URL's myself just to be on the safe side.

Guess it's like those ones your get on your phone telling you that you computer is 'infected' or asking for help to find hackers. Give them remote access and voila they clean out your bank account or take over your identity (or both).

I love the ones who say they are from Telstra (the largest telephone/internet provider in Aus). I don't use them but love to string them along just for the fun of it. Mind you once I hang up I add their number to my phone block list - I don't enjoy playing with them THAT much!

Moral of the story? Don't fall for odd emails and NEVER click links or give your details. Remember - you can easily block unwanted email addresses (and phone numbers) so use that option.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Slowly But Surely...

Wouldn't you know it! No rain for months then the two days I want it dry it's showery. The first was filling the bloody skip then today the photos are being taken this afternoon and look whats heading my way!

No chance it will miss me - not when the band stretches so wide. Oh well it will make everything outside all glittering and gleamy...lol.

So my front yard was for a want of a better world - a jungle. I liked it. I had lots of blue tongue lizards living in it. Generation and generation of Brown Striped Marsh frogs. each morning and evening flocks of Rainbow Lorikeets would fly in to feed. Each night the fruit bats would fill my trees. But of course while I loved it it wasn't conducive to selling - it had to be tamed.

And tamed it has been ....
Doesn't look the same place and sadly I think all my Blue Tongue Lizards will have left for better living areas.

Image may contain: text As I mentioned in a previous post I tired as well as slightly deranged. I'm going to take the next week off. I plan to veg out and do absolutely nothing - well sort of. I may work on a MS or two and I'm going to call into Kmart for a book or two to keep me busy.

I'll get back into packing the following week. Figured if I pack away things I rarely need at the moment then by the time the house is sold and I've bought a new one I shouldn't have too much to actually shove into boxes - just the day to day stuff. Less last minute panicking. Unfortunately my two toy boys didn't materialise so it's all left for me to do....lol.

My hand isn't too bad at the moment but my elbow is so painful. It throbs and keeps me awake at night. I hope now that I'm not going to be doing as much it settles down. I will just have to do a quick clean-up whenever there is an 'open house'.

The cats and Fozzie know something's going on - they are very clingy and keep checking where I am, that's if they aren't following me through the house. I kind of dread the long car trip they are going to have to take. Spot won't be too bad but Callie and Fozz are going to freak out. When I take Fozzie for his yearly vet check I'm going to ask if there is something I can give the two of them to make the journey as calming as possible. Two hours in a car with stressed animals won't be especially pleasant.

     
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Got my Reader's get-together tomorrow and realised I'll have to find someone else to take it over. No way I am going to do a four hour round trip once a month. Hopefully there is something similar in the new area. I'm also hoping there is a Life Drawing club.

The one I used to go to down here stopped at the beginning of the year - not sure why. There were always at least six artists attending so the fees for the model was always covered and the venue. I really miss it. I love painting and sketching the nude figure and it's too expensive to hire one just for myself. So I have my fingers crossed I can find one in the new area that doesn't cost a fortune (or else use my hard to find toy boys).

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

It's Done!...

Well it's done... I think.

Managed to get the junk into the skip bin between sprinkles. Thankfully it didn't rain until Sunday afternoon, the rest of the time there were just a few light showers.

Mind you I can't stand upright, my back hurts, the hand I dislocated my finger on is throbbing and swollen, my elbow that I smashed years back feels like it's on fire - yep I'm getting too old for this shit... need to find me a 'toy boy' (preferably two) to do the hard work ... 😋 I promise I'd treat them both very well 😉

Got all the bookcases and odd furniture into the garage as well as all the filled moving cartons. The house looks deserted, so much empty space but at least you can easily see exactly how large it is, it actually echoes... I've sugar soaped the walls that I didn't paint and this morning cleaned the floor where the removed furniture had been. My agent has arranged for the photos be done on Friday arvo.

He told me it would be about a week after that then we would go live. The idea is to try an auction first and if I don't get the price I want then we go to normal selling. It's going to be a tense few weeks/months until I get that contract then more nail-biting as I try to find a new home.

I've always seen places I'd like to buy in the area whenever I've gone online, I just hope when I am actually ready to buy I have the same luck...lol. I doubt I'll be in the new place before Christmas but I hope I'm there before February.

Image result for packedSo much is packed. I thought I'd read (have a huge pile of 'to be read' books) - packed. Okay, maybe I'll watch a DVD - packed. Paint a picture - packed. Listen to some old music CDs - packed. BUGGER...lol.

Because I had to clear out space and stuff there are lots of things packed away so the place is ready for 'open house' days. Silly me didn't think to leave a few things out so at the very least I'd have something to read.

Oh well - good excuse to go out and buy a few books or a couple of the latest DVDs. 😉 I'll be here for at least 3 months so definitely need something to read in between writing (unless I find those 2 toyboys...haha)

Fortunately in between all the work, the painting, the packing I've grabbed a few minutes every now and again to write. I had book 3 in my latest series almost finished so been snatching the odd time here and there to work on it. This morning I finally got it to the point where I think it is ready to submit.

Image result for synopsisI filled out my submission, wrote the blurb and wrote out the one page synopsis. I'll do another read through of the book tomorrow, recheck and fine tune my synopsis then hit submit.

Then will come the nail-biting and the inbox haunting. On their page Evernight state that submissions usually take 3 months. My first submission with Evernight took 10 weeks before I heard back.The second 9 days and the third 11. I hope I don't have to wait the whole 12 weeks again - it's so damn nerve wracking!

I have 2 other manuscripts 3/4 finished but they aren't in the series, have to decide whether to finish them in between working on book 4 or if I should just put them to one side. One is a MF while the other is a menage. Mind you like most authors I have about 15 WIPs in various stages of development but need to settle on one or two.

 At least working on my manuscripts will keep my mind off selling the house.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Back Home...

Back home.

DIL surgery went very well and she is tired and sore but feeling okay. Son is still wearing the compression bandage from groin to toe but he isn't limping quite as much so finger's crossed he's on the recovery road too.
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They are spending the weekend down here as the grandchildren have birthday parties to go to - one on Sat and another Sunday. Doesn't make sense to drive back and forth each day. Four hours driving when it isn't really necessary and especially with them both still recovering from their respective ops. So they will come tonight night and then drive back on Sunday after the last kid's party.

The girls miss their old friends but I am happy to report they have made some new ones and they absolutely love their new school. Even more important, the school already has an autistic child. They have no problem in having two more and have strategies in place to work with the girls and my kids.

Another skip bin came early this morning when they took the old one away and wouldn't you know it - for the first time in months there is rain predicted. It's been sprinkling overnight so I am going to start throwing rubbish in it ASAP. Hopefully I can get everything in it before it actually gets too wet. At this stage the photos for the house marketing should be taken the end of next week so I really have to get that bloody skip filled - rain or shine. Once that's done all my bookcases (don't even ask how many) and all the cartons and boxes can go out into the garage so the house looks respectable...lol

Seems a never-ending battle with life at the moment - I just hope things have turned a corner. Mentally and emotionally I am very close to reaching my end. But I have to admit I feel stronger than I have done for many, many years so there is no chance I'll let the black dog have me.
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Funny how things turn out. I never thought I'd ever move. Never thought I'd be open to meeting new people.

My faith in other people was a little smooshed years back. Now I'm open to new things and meeting new people. I think it's the knowledge that I am moving - feels like a new chapter, a fresh page about to begin.

Image result for nsw road treesThe past is the past completely. It's no good looking backwards - always look at the exciting road ahead. Now I begin looking at the world with brand new emotions. I can fully lay the ghosts of the past, illnesses, husband (lol), cancer and grab all my tomorrows in brand new surroundings.

I get excited when I think of all the new experiences I'm going to have. This past few days have been great (except for my kids surgeries).

I drove around the area, went into a few shops for food, took the girls to and from school. People were so friendly. Lots of 'hellos', people smiling. On top of that there is such beautiful scenery. Fresh air. Heaps of trees and sounds of birds everywhere. My fingers were itching to paint and my head brimming with book ideas.

Oh man I can't wait!!!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Not Again.....

So the family curse is still working. Younger son had to have more surgery last week - his femoral artery was leaking into his leg, he can't take a trick the last few years... 😢

Image result for hospital free images cartoonHe is feeling rather sore and sorry but the worst is over I hope. Then my DIL saw her doc last Friday and now she's having surgery tomorrow! They say it never rains, it pours but in my life it's a torrential monsoon not merely rain!

I'm spending the week at their place, doing the school run for the girls for the week. (They love their new school - tiny - only 65 students which is perfect with both girls being autistic.)  Just hope everything goes well and my kids get past this horrid streak.

Elder son had surgery a few months back but thankfully he and his family are okay now.  Their eldest seems to be responding to his meds so another positive.

Image result for moving house changeI love the place the kids are living at now. Except for the fact that my kids are suffering it is good to have a few days in the area where I hope to buy.

The kids love it there and each time I've gone I can't wait until I'm living there. So friendly, nice people and it has a country feel about it.

The preparations for putting the house on the market are almost finished. If all goes well the photographer should be able to come toward the end of next week. Fingers crossed there's no more drama in the family - we had far too much!

I'm hoping the move will be a new beginning. Anything would have to be better than the last few years.

My hand and elbow are still sore - think I'm falling apart...lol, but on the positive side I've lost weight! Haven't been this weight for at least 29 years... haha - although with all the stress lately I have no idea how!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Over the Moon...

I'm over the moon!  My publisher just posted this on their site, Instagram and Facebook.

THE TOP 3 BESTSELLING Older Hero/Older Heroine romances on Bookstrand.com are from our very own Suzy Shearer!
1. Jake
2. Steven
3. Her Dom's Secret Past

Never when I began this writing kick could I have imagined the success I've had and still having. Okay I won't become a millionaire but I still have to pinch myself each quarter when I get my royalty cheques. Then I see a message like this one and can't stop grinning.

Sometimes I think 'this is my last book' but then something like this happens or someone sends an email telling me they love one of my books they just read.

I logged onto my publisher's site the other day and saw I now have an Amazon Best Seller badge and then today I read this!

So once I've finished preparing the house then I'm getting stuck back into writing and hope to bring at least one more book out before the end of the year.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Slowly But Surely...


I've almost reached the end of the enormous list of things to do before the house goes on the market. At the moment I'm tackling outside.

I've already cleaned and the painted the back deck and the front. Have the side deck (which is enormous 8m x 6m) to do then a general clean-up of the front, back and side yards. Thankfully I'm on target now although there have been a few shaky days.

I managed to dislocate my index finger on my right hand a week ago. Thank goodness I was able to pop it back in but it is still painful. I have a sneaky suspicion I'm doing damage to my hand as I work but I have to do it. It won't get done by itself and there is no-one I can ask.

Once the house is organised and on the market if I am still having pain and swelling I'll get my hand X-rayed to see what I've done. My elbow that I smashed 10 years ago is also extremely sore so that might be on the X-ray list too. Until then I just grit my teeth and keep working.

It feels so weird - as the pile of packing cases grow. It feels as if the last 42 years of my life have been reduced to a few dozen cardboard boxes.

I've been brutal and thrown away so much, things that I hold in my hand and can remember. But you can't dwell in the past, you have to move forward and this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the few things that still linger.

There is pain in the past - a lot of pain. Sometimes I think there wasn't as much joy but I guess we all get dealt what we can handle. Being a Buddhist I acknowledge Karma and Karmic debts.  Many years ago I came to realise I wasn't a very nice person last time around so I have to accept my loneliness, my pain. Hopefully next time I will have a blessed life. and a wonderful partner.

Don't get me wrong, there have been some wonderful times in the past 69 years and overall it has been truly awesome.

My wonderful parents, travels before my marriage, the early days of my marriage. My fabulous children (sometimes...lol), my boys' weddings and their partners who I absolutely adore, their children. The fact I have been able to paint and write with a certain degree of talent. The people I have met who have shared some of their life with me,and some who still do.

But there have been a great many years of terrible emotional pain and struggles that took a tremendous toll. My son's autism and the trials of getting him safely to adulthood successfully, all my husband's infidelities then our 14 year struggle with his brain tumor. I know it robbed me of much of the joy I should have had raising children. Then life was put on hold for 14 years while everything revolved around doctors, radiotherapy, chemo and me nursing him 24/7.

Anyway, that's all been and done. Now with each item I find from the past I'm holding it then casting it away. Most items I've been able to donate - furniture, knick-knacks, clothing, appliances ... and yes, I've even got rid of a lot of books. (Mind you I still managed to fill 7 packing cases with the books I've kept.)

With each one going there is a sense of moving forward, of releasing the past.

So I'm honestly looking at this move as a fresh start. I know I won't have the true happiness I long for, I know I will still be lonely but I believe it will bring me a great sense of peace and tranquillity. A sense of calmness and blessing that I intend to grasp with both hands and enjoy thankfully.

New places to explore. New views to paint. New areas for inspiration for books and paintings. A new life.

... I can't wait.