Monthly Archives: January 2015

They Call it Chick Lit with Anita Heiss- @AnitaHeiss as the cool kids call her #writensw



My first writing course of this year was with Dr Anita Heiss at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre and it was fantastic. The energy that she brings to a room is as impressive as her credentials. And with 12 books to her name and a PhD in Communications those credentials are pretty darned impressive.

But what am I thinking, if I have learned one thing from The Australians obituary for Colleen McCullough it’s that I should mention her appearance straight up. So forget about Dr Anita Heiss’s credentials for a moment, she has spectacular calves. I have to say the best calves I have seen on any lecturer. Now I don’t want other lecturers getting all uppity with me complaining about how this isn’t fair because I haven’t seen their calves because they always wear long trousers, because quite frankly I can only physically objectify what I can see. So if your calves are so magnificent then put on some shorts damn it and I’ll mention them next time, like all reputable journalists do. I also saw some rather impressive deltoid action as she hefted a sturdy table over head to set up her room. Oh yes, she set up her own room. She set up her own room in a killer pair of heels. Books, awards, PhD, internationally recognised and setting up her own room. Must admit I was slightly aghast and let out a little squeak, ‘Let me help you,’ but she was already pretty much done so all I did was pop two chairs out and put some props on tables.

As for the actual course. It was fun, it was informative and it was practical. Anita took us through her process for writing – synopsis, character profile, chapter break downs, research, writing, editing, and celebrating – and took us through activities for each. Well not the celebrating one, but Anita, should you ever like to have a vino, call me. I won’t go into detail for each one because… well… to be honest… that would kind of be cutting Anita’s grass. She is good enough to do talks and workshops for up and coming writers, giving back so to speak, so for maximum benefit you really need to attend in person.

Although I will not share all the ins and outs of Anita Heiss’s course I am willing to share the first 2,000 words of the project that I am currently working on. It is a first draft, and I must confess that I am one of those cheeky buggers that doesn’t edit until I’ve finished the complete first draft which won’t be until mid Feb, so there will be plenty of typos, spellos, grammos, wrongos and nonos. Just take your editing hat off, sit back, relax, and just enjoy the ride. We can spoon afterwards.

What happens in Book Club…

It was over. We all stared at each other in awkward silence. The dirty deed had been done, empty wine glasses sat on the dingy bar table between us and we did not quite know how to move forward from this point. There needed to be empty shot glasses lined up as far as the eye could see for the women in the book club to be able to meet each other’s gazes again.

‘I think now that Fifty Shades is done we should cleanse our loins with a classic of some sort,’ Selene finally broke the silence. She was the leader of our little book club. Bright red lipstick, slick black hair, if she would just wear a short black dress instead of business suits she would fit right in on the set of a Robert Palmer video.

‘I think about a year of strong women is in order’ Mac agreed vigorously. Her face was almost as red as her hair. She dabbed absentmindedly at a wine stain on the frilly long sleeved blouse she was favouring of late. It must be another pirate phase or failing that Shakespeare?

The rest of us still just stared at our hands too embarrassed to look at one another. Some had flicked through and only read the sexy bits, desperados; some had flicked past the sexy scenes, prudes; and others had stopped reading because the sentence structure made their brains hurt, snobs. Either way, Fifty Shades had stirred up something inside of us that nobody wanted to name or discuss. Our book club was usually so boisterous that we disturbed other patrons. Thank God we knew how to drink, otherwise we would have been far too much bother. Instead, we were welcomed each month. Well, at least our wallets were. However, that once a month shrill disturbance at the Longie had been practically a whisper this evening. We should have drunk more wine. All that was on the table between us was a few empty glasses and E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey standing erect, it almost seemed to glow and call out to people, ‘Look what these naughty girls have been reading.’

‘So Pride and Prejudice?’ Selene asked.

There was a general murmur of agreement before everyone but Selene, Mac and I fled the scene.

‘Well that was awkward,’ I finally found words.

‘No shit, Gwyn,’ Mac slumps back in her chair and drains the remains of her seventh wine glass.

‘What was up with you?’ Selene clearly does not have a bad case of loving me this evening. ‘We rely on you to say inappropriate things at poorly positioned moments to lighten the mood.’

‘I wasn’t feeling it today,’ I mumble. To be honest after reading about a lot of sex I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted to go out and have it. However, as a boring schoolteacher, reading about a bunch of erotic sex was about as close as I was going to come to… well… cumming.

‘I’m feeling something.’ Mac has managed to un-potato sack herself and is sitting bolt upright, breasts stuck out as if attempting to push their way out of her pirate shirt into her attended targets hands.

‘You were quiet tonight ladies,’ the barman flashes his perfectly white teeth at us. As he collects our glasses, he pushes a strand of blonde hair away from his eyes. His electric blue eyes run a warm current up my spine. ‘I missed your laugh red.’ Mac dissolves into giggles on the spot. ‘Yours too red.’ He is looking at me. I feel like I am being struck by lightning as he focuses the full force of his charisma on me.

‘She isn’t really a red head,’ Mac throws water on our moment and it fizzles out. ‘I am.’ Dear God, are her breasts growing.

‘I’m sure I’ll find out one day,’ he flirts back, then walks back to the bar leaving Mac with a wink to keep her warm.

‘He’s so hot,’ Mac swoons back into her chair hugging her wink to her chest.

‘He looks like a lost Hemsworth brother,’ I sigh.

‘Forget that!’ Evidently Selene is still not happy. ‘You better bring your A Grade Ditz routine next month. Those bitches rely on it to make them feel good about themselves.’

‘Sorry,’ I frown at my hands. Selene rolls her eyes. ‘I’m just horny,’ I confess.

‘We’re all bloody horny,’ Selene explodes. A silver fox businessman at the bar looks over at us. ‘Get a bloody vibrator.’ Hemsworth from behind the bar stifles a giggle. This is not my day. Selene sits for a while fuming until she finally calms down. ‘Sorry. I’m just frustrated. We’re only running this book club so that we can find out how women think and write a book for them but tonight we got nothing! How does that help me get published? I’m just so frustrated. I want to write Fantasy, but nobody wants to publish fairy stories, so we try to write something people want but the people aren’t speaking to us. It’s just… I mean… I’ve gotta head,’ she kisses Mac and I on the forehead and says, ’emails tomorrow girls,’ and then vanishes.

‘I’d like someone’s head,’ Mac drools. She has somehow managed to get her hands on her eighth glass of wine whilst Selene and I argued. It is going to be a long night.

*          *          *

‘Did Hemsworth see me throw up?’ Mac is looking at me with such pleading eyes as I strap her into her taxi that I find it within my heart to lie to her.


‘Did he see me trip over?’ Yes, it was at that point that he called you a cab.


‘Good.’ Mac smiles for a moment and then starts to cry. I smile sympathetically at the driver before standing up, closing the door, and rapping the taxi on the roof to let him know he is good to go.

I stand back, breathe in the fresh night air, and stretch out my neck after the strain of carrying Mac to the cab. I can’t be mad, half the time it’s me. The North Sydney Street is practically empty at this time of night. Wednesday nights are not known for their wildness in these parts. I am sure Coogee would be off the hook right now but it is nice and peaceful here. I need a taxi of my own but it could be a long while. A miracle, a yellow glowing beacon comes swinging around the corner like a golden gift from the Gods, hooray, I am saved from waiting for hours for cab never to arrive and eventually walk home. I go to put my arm out to wave the taxi down but I am beaten. The silver fox from the bar has just exited the bar and already has his arm out waving down the taxi. What an arse hole. The taxi pulls up and he opens the door then pauses and stares back at me. He has the most amazing blue eyes that I have ever seen, his perfect lips break into a grin and he calls out to me,

‘Care to share a cab?’

I do not know where he is going but I do know that this is probably my last chance for a cab and so going a few minutes out of my way to drop him off is probably worth it. Besides, there are worse ways to spend an extended cab ride than gazing at that perfect mouth. Then again, my mother did tell me not to get into cars with strangers. Well I guess that decided it then. I nod enthusiastically and charge forward.

*          *          *          *          *

I stare out at a sea of bored faces. Fifteen-year-old boys and girls sitting slumped in their chairs as if I am their cult leader and have just given them a spiked “communion.” Me teaching Geography is definitely one of the signs of the apocalypse so there is probably some truth to this metaphor.

‘I’m bored,’ whines a girl wearing more eyeliner on her melon than I actually own.

‘Well of course you’re bored,’ I respond with a sniff, ‘this is Geography, I’m not a miracle worker.’ The class giggles in response. Always a good idea to humour the teacher.

‘Seriously Miss, this is so stupid, when am I going to have to know about costal management?’ Eyeliner questions me with a pout from her highly glossed lips.

Mental note: bring sunglasses to class, gloss is back in, big time.

I try not to let out a sigh. I felt the same level of What the fuck is happening to our society? when I was asked why we had to study The Removalists last week, because apparently domestic violence just isn’t an issue anymore. I take a deep breath to calm myself so that I avoid giving an impassioned speech that will only proceed to alienate the student, a feat I did not manage last week, and proceed to attempt to meet her needs in a way meaningful to her.

‘Tell you what,’ I bargain, ‘we get through all our work for the week today and we can watch an interesting show instead of working on Friday.’ Ah, the evil genius of the teacher, using media and celebrities to make points that our lame selves cannot. They will get educated quite happily if I tell them they are not learning.

A general murmur of agreement comes from the class and the previously roofied class turns into a class on speed. It is my turn to slide down in my chair in a rohypnoled state. I stare at the clock. I have an important email date with the girls at 3:05pm. It is important, it is tradition… its habit. We always have an email catch-up at 3:05pm. It is the one thing I can rely on. I may spend my rent money on shoes, I might forget my own phone number, I might even forget I’m a non-smoker and have a few cheeky cigarettes on a big night out… okay, a few packs, BUT, I know that every weekday, like clockwork, I will have a flurry of emails from the girls at 3:05pm. Easy for me, it is the end of my school day, but how the girls manage to schedule it in everyday is a miracle to me. A miracle that I am not question. I am just thankful that my high flying Executive Assistant pal Selene and my Banker buddy Mac can make time for a cretin like me.


The minute hand moves from 3:03 to 3:04.

‘Okay guys, time to pack up.’

A flurry of noise and activity erupts that makes me believe that perhaps I have just announced the end of the world. This may explain why the students are constantly bringing stashes of food to class.

‘Remember to put your chairs up on the desks,’ I yell over the thundering storm.

‘Miss,’ a tall boy, I always have to remind to take his baseball hat off, complains as he does every single week, ‘No other teachers make us do this. It’s so Primary School.’

Ouch, the ultimate insult. Unfortunately, I happen to like cut and paste, and glitter.

‘Yes, and that’s why I’ve got the cleanest floors out of everyone,’ I dutifully give out my standard response. ‘If you make it easier for the cleaners, they’ll treat you right.’ I finish it off with a wink and the lanky boy blushes a bit. Oh dear, another one. I will have a week of being stalked followed by months of being called a lesbian. Oh what fun. I hope that he is more creative in his toilet graffiti than the last kid. A picture of a stick figure with enormous boobs with my name written next to it is just so last week.

The bell goes and without awaiting any instructions, the students run for the hills.

I open up my laptop. Our group email has already started.

Selene: How’d you end up?

Mac: Drunk, but thankfully managed not to embarrass myself and got home in one piece.

Selene: Sure you did.

Mac: Seriously I did. Ask Gwyn.

Me: I had sex.

Selene: We need to meet now.

Mac: What the fuck?

Mac: Bullshit!

Mac: You lie!

Mac: Yeah we need to meet.

Mac: The Usual?

Mac: Come on guys, you’re killing me. The Usual?

Mac: 5pm?

Mac: Guys!!!!!!!

Selene: Chill out Mac. It’s been like 5 fucking seconds, not everybody types as fast as you do.

Mac: Shut up mole.

Selene: Game on mole.

Me: You’re both moles. See you at 5:30pm.

Mac: Fine. 5:30pm. You better be on time.

Mac: None of this 154 minutes late shit.

Mac: *15 minutes

Mac: Any details to share in advance?

Mac: Who was it?

Mac: Did I speak to him?

Mac: Guys?

Selene: See you at 17:30.

Mac: You girls suck!

*          *          *          *          *

Anita does have some Chick Lit writing tips publically available on her website that you may find interesting I highly recommend reading them. But I also recommend going to her courses. She is so fresh and invigorating that you will come away inspired and ready to embark upon some new challenges.


How to Cause a Storm in a Suck Cup




Today on Facebook, Mia Freedman posted a picture of herself wearing some seriously enormous panties with the caption, “You know you’re not on holidays anymore when you’re wearing your fat-sucking undies.”


We've all been there.

We’ve all been there.

Some decaying, vain, creature asked which brands worked best, okay it was me – please feel free to post suggestions in the comments, many complimented her on keeping it real, and then there were the sayers of nay. How dare this woman promote being happy with yourself yet wear gut suckers from time to time? How dare she be skinnier than some people and wear control tops? The nerve! Even comments about how she was supposed to be smart so should know better. Because a big beautiful brain, being slimmer than some other people, and possessing a belief that you should be kind to yourself apparently means that you are free from any kind of insecurity.


It really made me think. Mainly because prior to three kids I was a size 6, but now I’m a size 8. People probably look at me and think, skinny bitch, where as I look at myself and go, ‘Fuck I’m fat.’ Now I’m not an actress, or a model, I’m not paid squillions of dollars for my appearance, so I don’t have that burning, monetary/career motivation to get myself back into shape. I still want to, and yes, after three kids, I still can get back into shape. Admittedly the last two were twins born through emergency c-section so that does complicate matters, but they are a year old now so really, enough is enough when it comes to excuses. Three weeks after my daughter I was into all of my old clothes, including the skinny jeans, and three months later I had the ab definition back. Sure add some time for twins and some time for the big C rather than the big V, but let’s be honest, I’m ‘fat’ because of me at this point not the babies. (And yes it is a pet peeve of mine when people BLAME their children for weight gain, career loss, etc. Kids don’t need that kind of guilt thrust on them.) And yes, there are other people out there larger than me, but that doesn’t make me feel less fat, just as me being slimmer than them probably doesn’t make them feel any fatter or slimmer. Because our body image is to do with the messages we tell ourselves in our heads, not what other people drive down our throats.


So when I saw people tearing down Ms Freedman I was slightly appalled. She’s a journalist, sure a high profile one that does TV spots, but by and large she gets to hide behind her computer in yoga pants using her brain not her appearance to get her point across. Today she had to shoot a commercial, so today she wore some gut suckers. If I had to shoot a commercial I bet I’d be wearing gut suckers, thigh suckers, push up bra, a whole heap of makeup and enough hairspray to kill a small planet. None of these things do I wear on a daily basis but I would feel the need for a public appearance. Well I assume I would, I have never shot a commercial, or TV spot. And guess what, I’d admit to it too. Why? Because I’m real and it’d be honest to let people know that I’d put my best gut forward. So to Ms Freedman, I applaud you. Thanks for showing us that everyone has issues and everyone gussies themselves up. That those perfect images and as perfect as we think and that it’s okay to want to look your best. And that wanting to look your best doesn’t mean that you suddenly don’t want people to be happy with themselves, and that it doesn’t mean that you think everyone has to do it, that are emotions about ourselves run far deeper than our thoughts about others.


So I’m off to do some Yoga, and when I go out to lunch with my girlies on Saturday I shall wear my gut suckers with pride. And if my girlies wear them too, then fine, if they don’t, that’s fine too. Lipstick, sparkly shoes, push up bras, perfume, or absolutely nothing. I don’t care, wear what you want to wear to make you feel good!

Watch Out, Goats About: Year of the Goat



If you like me were born in the year of the Goat you’ve probably been looking forward to 2015. Year of the Goat is supposed to be lucky for Goats right? Wrong! Well, usually it is lucky but apparently this particular year of the Goat is the “Mega Bad Year” for Goats. Pretty sure that’s the technical name for it. Sucks to be us. Instead of all our dreams coming true the gates of heck are supposed to open and rain poop down upon us. Not fair! As goats we already have a tendency to be a little insecure and sulky, add to that our special year being replaced by a crap stick and it has many of us heading for the hills, or at least our blanket forts.


Well nuts to that I say. Let’s take that Billy Goat by the horns and take back our birth right. Okay, our negatives are going to be magnified but that doesn’t change the fact that all our positives are also strengthened this year. So the way I see it we have two choices, try to supress our negatives with all our might in order to side step the “Mega Bad Year’s” impact, OR, try to highlight our good qualities so much that we can still be self-indulgent, ingrates because we’ve created such a cushion of good stuff around us that we’ve got some leeway. Or of course the there is a third and fourth option, just freak out, fall in a heap and cry bitter tears as you watch the year slip away, OR, ignore it, it’s a bunch of superstitious nonsense anyway. Three and four are pretty easy to manage without much direction from me, although when it comes to self-sabotage I happen to be one of the best so can definitely provide tips on three for anyone needing them, so I’ll stick to options one and two.



Essentially the bad traits of the Goat are said to be prissiness, hedonism, dependence, moodiness, anxiety, and ingratitude. Sounds pretty shitty right. Not exactly the poster child of who you want to be or who you want to be friends with. Again, sucks to be us. Non Goats reading this are possibly thinking what a bunch of bastards, to them I say try to be kind, we’re the ones who have to live with these demons swirling around inside of us. So in order to supress these negative traits try looking at all these aspects and set yourself goals in the opposite direction. With that I don’t mean, ‘Don’t be a prissy little princess.’ No need to be mean to yourself. Try to be positive, after all, we’re trying to defeat the “Mega Bad Year” so enough with the negativity. I suggest phrasing things in a positive way, instead of listing the negative state the opposite and make it a goal. Write it up, stick it on your fridge, computer screen, wallet, whatever.


Be accepting, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I am happy with what I have, enough is as good as a feast.

I am the master of my own destiny, I think I can, I know I can.

Adversity is just a lesson waiting to become a positive, every cloud has a silver lining.

I am a worthy person, confidence is King.

I am thankful for all the good things that are in my life.



So you don’t have the iron will that would allow you to keep those insecurities and doubts from bubbling over. You like new shoes, you can never have too many types of tea in your house, yes you do need another pair of jeans in a slightly different colour damn it! Well don’t worry your goaty little head about it, you’ve got a lot of good qualities so really highlight them this year. Make sure you’re maximising your charms, and you have many of them, so that you can still pamper yourself and call everyone about you a bunch of bastards. It’s okay, I’m on your side, I’m one of you. Now apparently our positive characteristics are creativity, refinement, compassion, empathy, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Dang we’re awesome! Such beautiful, kind people. I love us. We’re the best. If we really concentrate on working hard, and letting our talents shine then we surely have the opportunity to buy a few extra pairs of sunglasses, and go to the odd ridiculously expensive restaurant right? So hit the Chinese New Year (Feb 19) running. Get yourself organised so that your good characteristics are really in order. Maximise the goodness in you. You’re creative, smart and sensitive. Utilise these gifts. Pick your creative goal, whether it be music, painting, writing, photography, sewing etc, just pick it. Now focus that beautiful brain of your on how to achieve your goal. Write up a plan, a weekly plan, daily plan, monthly plan. Whatever you need to keep you on the straight and level for achieving your goal. For a writer wanting to finish a novel they could come up with a plan of writing 500 words a day, easy. Of course they need to do other things to support that plan, maybe think of a household chore schedule, plan dinners a week in advance, take the thinking out of the mundane so that they get done on rote without thinking leaving you to focus on your creativity. If you wish to learn a new instrument, it could be as simple as half an hour a day, but again coming up with a plan that takes care of the mundane to allow that to happen. You have to eat and live right? So take care of yourself, plan yourself into success. Focus on your gifts and shine, and when your bad aspects rear their ugly heads it’s okay because you’re already so far ahead with your dreams that a little set back every now and then doesn’t matter long term. Live long and prosper.


I’d like to take this moment to mention that I am in no way trained in Astrology or in life coaching. If you want really good info on Chinese Astrology use Doctor Google to find you an expert, if you want good tips on how to improve your life in 2015 then seek out a trained psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or life coach.


For those wondering why I have barely posted of late, my phone got stolen. Sigh. I did all my WordPressing through my phone so the loss has slowed me somewhat. I have got a replacement but it is quite old and the WordPress ap on it is not official, as there is not an official ap for that platform so is not exactly awesome for the updates. In the meantime I have been working on a saucy piece of chick lit. Yes, you heard me, saucy. I’ll be hitting the Year of the Goat running, 10,000 words in and loving it. I shall be able to put it onto my shelf with my two Chloe Prime novels and my Memoir that I have completed over the past three years. Hopefully publication will find its way into my life in the Year of the Goat. I hope all our dreams come true this year, even the non-Goats but especially my fellow Goaties and my much adored Rabbits and Snakes. Love to my husband and three babies. XooX




My bright eyed babes

Apparently my boys turn one tomorrow. I’m not ready. They’re so little and cute. They’re my last babies. Just… no…. tear. I want to hug them and love them forever but I know when they’re 15 they possibly won’t let me scoop them both up at the same time, and kissing their bellies will definitely be out. Sigh… Le Sigh. Ugh… I tell you what, they came 8 weeks early, so can I pretend that they’re not one for another eight weeks?

Fresh home from hospital, even 0000 were swimming on them.

Fresh home from hospital, even 0000 were swimming on them.