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.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Progress...

Another room painted. That's every room in the house organised except for the lounge room. 
Took down paintings, filled the holes then discovered I don't have the wall paint in that colour to cover the patches 

Only 2 walls with patches so will paint them a contrasting colour I already have...lol.

Had a few council clean-ups, took a few car loads of 'stuff' to the Salvation Army, gave away a few bookcases, some pavers. 

Slowly but surely the place is getting ready. Rooms are being decluttered. Actually a good thing. After 42 years there is so much 'junk'. I'm being brutal. If I haven't used it or seen it in the last 2 years it's going.

At this point in time, my agents are taking the photos of the house around August 21 then it will be on the market by the end of the month.

I hope it sells quick because I'd love to have settled in a new house by Christmas.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Emails and Boxes...


In view of my upcoming move I gone generic... in emails.

Not sure where I am going to end up and what sort of Internet service there will be. There is a possibility I will lose my Optus network so in preparation I am switching over to gmail.

If you have my old email address it will still work until I move, after that it may not. I am slowly changing everything over.

So my new addresses are:

suzannerparkes@gmail.com - for all official boring stuff; and
suzyshearer.author@gmail.com - for friends and everything else.

I honestly can't believe the amount of behind the scenes stuff you have to do if you move. Thankfully I have months to get it all sorted although some things can't be done until I actually buy the new house and get the address.

In the meantime I am knee-deep in boxes and that's only from one room!

The local Salvation Army depot rubs their hands with glee when they see my car now - I'm a regular visitor dropping off things. I decided if I haven't used/seen/touched something in the past two years then it goes.

Slowly I am getting organised. One room is finally finished. I've repainted the whole room (the paint was peeling off) and torn up the old 42  yr old carpet.  Most rooms don't need this sort of drastic treatment, just de-cluttering.

My workroom will be the only other one that will have to been repainted, thank goodness. And that will only be the walls. In the meantime it's back to packing my life up into cardboard moving boxes.

As if trying to clear the house wasn't bad enough - I had two lots of edits to do! My latest release is tomorrow and I had to take two weeks out of all the house stuff to work on edits from my publisher. Thankfully the changes were only minor but it still takes time.



Monday, 16 July 2018

OMG...

OMG - why did I decide to sell my house?

Image result for moving boxesI can't believe the amount of work you have to do. I have packing boxes everywhere, I have stuff to go to the tip, I have stuff to put out for a booked council clean-up. I have stuff to go to the Salvation Army and that's just after clearing two rooms (that aren't fully finished).

I guess it was to be expected after living here for 42 years but I didn't really expect this much. And then I have to face the dreaded shed and the garage!

Still it is getting done - not sure if I'll meet the August 1st deadline but I have my fingers crossed.

Wish I had a male around to do all the heavy stuff - my back and all my muscles feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck.

Anyone got a strong male to spare for a few weeks? 😁

Image result for tree change moveThen once all this is done I have to live through the nail-biting exercise of waiting for someone to buy my house all the while searching for one to buy.

Argh ... what silly woman decided to do this? Haha

At least I know sometime in the next 12 months or sooner I'll have made my Tree Change and will be living somewhere beautiful - well away from Sydney.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Get Ready - Slowly...

So made a start. Began painting. The master bedroom and one of the others I've done, almost finished the third and then I only need to do one more and that's the four bedrooms finished. I've painted the kitchen and the hallways. Family room only needs one more wall and it's finished.

I ordered some removalist boxes so I can begin de-cluttering once the painting is finished. Had some agents in and very happy with the price they are all suggesting. Have to decide which one to go with but as I don't intend to put it on the market until I've finished all the work, there isn't a rush.

I'm dreading the back shed and the garage - all those years of 'stuff' and then I have to tackle the yards - back, front and side. This is the time when you need a male in your life to do the heavy lifting...lol

The cats and Fozzie are wondering what's going on - boxes everywhere, paint cans, furniture pulled to the centre of rooms. I hope they don't fret too much when the move is one. It will be a long (2 hour) car ride for them.

Callie is the main worry - she hates people and hides when the door bell rings. I think she will take a while to settle in to the new place.

Been studying the houses for sale in the area I want and keep finding lots of ones I'd love to buy. They've been in my price range and I'm hoping once I'm ready to buy I still have a great selection. Went up there two Saturday's ago and the area is so relaxed, people seem very friendly.

On top of trying to get organised I had two weeks to get the first edits done on my latest book due out in August.  As you can see Callie gave them a critical eye. I haven't received the cover mock-up yet but usually my publisher sends it around the same time as the second edits come through.

I'm going to keep working but won't submit anything until the house is under contract - the last thing I want is to move and do my publisher's edits at the same time.

Anyway, slowly does it and I'm hoping I get things ready by August then it will be nail-biting time waiting for a buyer....😀

UPDATE:  I just sign up with a Real Estate agent to put the house on the market in August so it's all happening!!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

It's Time...

Image result for 42
"The time has come," the walrus said.

For me I think the time has come. I've lived in this house for 42 years, it's a magic number and now it's time for a change.

I've started painting one room at a time and clearing out the accumulated junk of all those years. Once I've finished I'll get some agents out and see how much I can get for this beauty.

I love my house, it's big and roomy. Lot of space with the perfect kitchen and I imagine I will shed a few tears but...

Image result for houses for sale south coast nswProviding the figure is to my liking I'll put the house on the market and hope that I'll be spending Christmas in a new area and new house.

I'm looking out of the city, 2 hours away and I can't wait. I've seen some houses I like - old places with character, I'm not into brand new places.

It just remains for me to continue cleaning out the 'stuff' and hope I get the figure I want.

If I do, then it will be 'bye bye, Sydney', 'Hasta la vista' and I won't be sorry.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Wasting Time...

Wasting time playing with Snapchat instead of working - but I did write 7968 words today...lol. What do you do to waste time?

My author's group - Romance Writer's Australia are doing 50k in May and I'm at just over 72k. Extremely happy because I've almost got one MS finished and actually submitted another.

It's been a quiet month, thank goodness, I'm hoping that means all the dramas of the the past year and a half have stopped.

I went to my Readers & Author's group meetup recently and someone asked me why I didn't have a partner, or at least a male in my life and I said "I haven't met anyone I'd like to spend the remainder of my life with yet."

"Aren't you lonely?"

Yes, it's lonely but it's better than being with someone who doesn't put you first. The downside is there's no-one to give you a cuddle, to kiss you, to hold you when you're sad.

But the upside is I can wander around the house in my undies and not worry...lol - and eat whenever I like... do whatever I like. 😉

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Excited...

So excited, my next book with my new publisher comes out early next month.

I'm just working on the second round of edits. I really love this publisher, they are so orientated to getting the best for, and from, their authors. Their editors have to be the best in the business - I've learnt quite a lot of things from them that my previous publisher let slide. Because of that I think I am producing much better books.

So a big thank you to Evernight Publishing!

Book number 19 - out June 5th!



Tuesday, 8 May 2018

My Mantra...


So many times people have said things to me that have hurt deeply. Some still bite after years. Some still have the power to make me question my self-worth even after years have gone by. Some sting as much now as they did when they were first said or written to me.

Remember words can hurt more than you can imagine. Think before you speak.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Time to Get Back to Work....

Had my lovely 15 yr old grandson stay for nine days so not much writing done but the two of us had fun. Lots of laughs as usual when we get together. Now it's back to work.

I've signed the contract on my new book which is due out in July and now I'm getting stuck into writing the next two books in this new series. I would like to have at last one finished by the end of May and the third by August. I actually have six books for this series planned in my head but whether they turn out the way I envisage is anyone's guess.

Along with those books I have another eight at various stages. That's the trouble with being an author - you keep getting these ideas for new books and just have to get something down.

Grandson and I went out one day to photograph things. He is learning a lot about his camera and takes some great pictures.

He has taken some great shots of racing cars and bikes as well as some scenic shots - you can follow him on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/gtr43photography

I fiddled about with my macro lens. Happy with some of the results but I know I can do much better.

 

Glad to know everything has settled down with my granddaughter. She still has to have an EKG - that's booked in for mid May at the Children's Hospital. Have my fingers crossed that it comes back normal.

She is back to her usual self. I get angry when I think of what she's faced. She is blind in one eye, has a duplex kidney, is autistic (like her younger sister) and now all these tests are being thrown at her. I have fingers and toes crossed that nothing comes up.

That tree change I'm always talking about is looking mighty attractive - maybe in the next twelve months...lol

Sunday, 15 April 2018

So Excited...

Weird how things go from way down to way up in a split second.

After all the worries of last week and trying to keep upbeat, I finally was feeling good again. Then yesterday I got an email.

Last Thursday week, in the late evening, I submitted a manuscript to my new publisher and then prepared myself for the 3 month wait. Imagine my shock when I got an email yesterday accepting my submission!

Just 7 days!

My first submission took 3 months of nail-bititng waiting and checking the inbox twice a day, I hadn't even got round to doing that with this one!

This new book is the first in a new series and here I was thinking I'd have three months to write book 2. Nope. I'll have to really get stuck into it now... lol.

I shared my news with a few American & Canadian author friends who have the same publisher and they were surprised at how quick it was accepted. One said he thought my first book with them must have been very successful and they grabbed this next book so I didn't submit to any one else.

Beats me - but whatever the reason, I am very excited. Book number 19 will out in a few months! Maybe in time for my birthday in July.

I danced around the kitchen like a crazy lady.

These are the times when you wish you had someone to share your excitement - but at least I shouted from the back verandah....and scared the hell at a person passing by. 😆

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Worried Sick... Final Update....

Eldest granddaughter (8) is seriously ill in hospital. She was rushed there by ambulance on Friday and still there. Not sure at this stage what is happening.

First thought was meningitis but her spinal tap came back clear. She's had countless test including a ECG. Next is an EEG and an MRI as the doctors try to figure out exactly what is wrong with her.

It is a terrible time and that family has been through hell and back in the past 18 months with cancers and serious illnesses - and it looks as if it is still continuing.

Anyway, I have fingers and toes crossed for my dear granddaughter and hope she will turn a corner quickly.

She is a very sick little girl.😪

UPDATE: MRI set for today (Monday) if they can fit her in or else definitely tomorrow.

NEW UPDATE: MRI just done (Tues) now we have to wait on the results. EEG still to be done but that has to be at Westmead Children's Hospital.

BIG thank you for your emails of good wishes, support and hopes 😊


FINAL UPDATE (I hope) : My granddaughter is home at last!

Whilst in hospital, she was immediately started on high doses of IV antibiotics in case it was Meningitis and it continued all throughout her stay. Now she has oral doses 4 times a day for another week. The doctors think she had some sort of severe infection that mimicked Meningitis.

The MRI preliminary report is clear. I think I almost collapsed when I heard that. My mind had been thinking 'tumor' after dealing with my late husband's and I honestly wondered if I'd  have the strength to be able to go through that nightmare again. At last I can breathe again.

She still has to have an EEG but has to wait until Westmead Hospital books her in. There is still concern about the seizures and headaches with the doctors now wondering if she has Epilepsy. She has a pediatrician appointment to follow up and get any additional testing done.

Thanks again for your emails - it has been lovely to have all that support. 😀