Hi everyone, and welcome to the first of my posts about 'A Writer's World'. Each month I'll share some aspect of my personal writer's world. It may be an aspect of the writing life I'm dealing with, a part of the world I'm in or my characters are (!) or something you're interested in discussing. If you have any suggestions or requests, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to cover the topic.
So first off, since I live in the southern hemisphere, this January it's all about summer and the temptations it brings. I know some of you are in the chilly north but I figure you can use your imaginations to remember that long distant summer.
For me summer is pure temptation. It's cherry season for a start (YUM). Summer fruit is about in abundance, and having cooked and eaten my way through Christmas and New Year, it's an effort to rein in the expanded appetite (and waistline) and try to remember healthy eating. After all, it's the season for BBQs here and there's nothing more tempting than the smell of outdoor cooking. Days are long and it's the time for catching up with friends, for picnics, trips to the beach, or getting out with the family.
In Australia there's the summer tradition of test cricket. There's nothing as relaxing as pottering about to the sound of a cricket ball plocking against willow then racing to the TV to see what the fuss is about when someone hits a six or is clean bowled. There's also the Australian Open Tennis and the possibility of nail-biting matches to distract. There are books to be caught up on. That sense that, since it's summer we should find a little 'down time'.
Then there are the energetic things - setting goals for the year, plotting the calendar, tackling those things that have bugged you all year and you never had time for (what IS in the depths of the cupboard in the spare room?). Plus, living in a warm, coastal area, the garden is growing so fast I can almost see it rise. The weeds threaten to choke the place and I need to assert control.
For me, summer should be a mix of family time, relaxation and judicial tidying and catching up. In reality? Well, you may guess when I tell you the photo of the beach is one I took some time ago and I haven't been to the beach at all yet this summer.
So here comes the Writer's Summer Reality Check. My book is due at the end of the month. It's great to feel it's almost done, but to get to that stage, summer has been, for me, a matter of resisting temptation. OK, OK, so I didn't resist nearly enough of the food temptations. But I haven't treated myself to a week of lazing by the water, book in hand, or watching the stars of tennis battle it out on TV. I've been slogging away trying to make my story the best it can be. Hard to do when the rest of the family is on holidays. I want to join them, even when it comes to tackling the rampant weeds threatening my roses. Gee - that DOES sound desperate. Then there was the added complication of getting a passing flu virus and still needing to write. Than another virus hit the family. Sound familiar? The downside about being a writer is you don't get time off from your work just because of illness.
Of course there have been breaks between the work. I've still had a lovely summer so far. One of the treats was two days away in Sydney. I got to see the Picasso exhibition and then lunch just across the road from the art gallery in a pavilion looking over the domain (I've posted the view for you above). It was lovely sitting there, having a relaxed lunch and knowing those city buildings were full of people working when I wasn't! I spent time by the harbour, saw a terrific production of 'The Magic Flute' which made me laugh with delight, went to the movies and generally treated myself.
So, now I'd like to know: what does summer tempt you with? Does summer mean something special to you? Does it conjure special childhood memories, or are their more recent temptations that summer brings? Do you resist them or do you give in and enjoy? And if it's too much of a strain to remember summer, by all means tell me about your winter temptations.
As this is the first of my new columns I'm celebrating. I'LL GIVE AWAY TWO COPIES of my recent US release THE SAVAKIS MERGER. The books will go to two people, chosen at random from those who leave a comment.
If you want to catch up with Annie's books here are two up and coming releases to check out. GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT has already been released in the US and Australia but is a North American release in March. Meanwhile, Annie's just learned her story THE GREEK TYCOON'S UNEXPECTED WIFE is part of an anthology called GREEK AFFAIRS: TEMPTED BY THE TYCOONS, available in February in kindle edition and in March in paperback in the UK. Isn't it the most delicious cover? To find out more about any of these books, drop by Annie's website.