Archive | January, 2013

Is It Nessie?

30 Jan
Is it Nessie? ( With a Bream by the tail)

Is it Nessie? ( With a Bream by the tail)

Safely out of the water, throwing it up to swallow head first.

Safely out of the water, throwing it up to swallow head first.

Today, I sat on a park-bench, overlooking a local river-baths: admiring the scenery. Everywhere seemed so calm, so peaceful. The effects of the recent heavy rain had kept everyone: and, it seemed, everything: out of the water.

Suddenly I spotted it: a small, intriguing head atop a long, lithe neck: steadily moving in the water.  With no suggestion of a body,  it was just an indistinct head and elegant, supple neck.  Spellbinding!

Thoughts of Nessie flooded my brain! In the thirty-odd years I’d been a regular visitor, I’d never before spotted anything like it!  It reminded me of an eerie, living periscope. And to think, only days ago, I’d been swimming in its current territory.

But suddenly, it reached the shore: and all was revealed.

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Australia Day Blog Hop!

25 Jan

Hi! Welcome to my contribution for the

Australia Day Blog Hop!

Thanks to hosts  http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/sign-up-australia-day-book-giveaway-hop/ and http://confessionsfromromaholics.com/ !

Another link to Book’dout: http://bookdout.wordpress.com/

This Australia Day, let’s celebrate Australian literature: Australian writing. Let’s enhance our connection between our writers and readers: and show the world what we’ve done!

As my share of the Blog Hop, I am offering the chance to win one paperback copy of my second book:  proudly Australian in title, too.

Here it is: ‘A Taste  of Life and Love in Australia’.

A Taste of Life and Love in Australia

‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’ is a collection of Short Stories and Vignettes set in modern times.  Mostly tales of romance, it has been rated by several reviewers. Here’s the link to that of Shelleyrae at Book’d out.  http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/review-a-taste-of-life-and-love-in-australia-by-margaret-lynette-sharp/#comments

Goodreads-badge-read-reviews

I’m a self-published Australian author of six titles available through Amazon.  Currently,  four titles are available as Kindle editions.  My seventh book is nearing completion. All are edited by my husband, the creator of the Grand Organ in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House, Ronald Sharp.

Entries for the giveaway close at midnight, January 28, 2013 AEST.

Sorry: the giveaway is restricted to residents of Australia. To enter, please leave a comment, and indicate that you are eligible.

Of course, overseas readers are more than welcome to comment, too.

The winner will be announced on 4nd February.

Be sure to check out the links to other, fabulous blogs!

Enjoy the Blog Hop, and Good Luck!

My Goals For 2013

17 Jan

I’ve recently read the list of writing goals of the lovely Rachael Johns, http://rachaeljohns.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/goals-for-2013/ , and have inspired to list my own.

1. Finish revision of my seventh title: that which I talked about in the previous post.

2. Collaborate with my husband/editor Ronald Sharp over the next stages, including the details of the cover’s design.

3. Think about the next title.

4. Blog about those things in life that engage my interest: nature particularly: and include examples of one of my other loves, photography.

5. Write Letters to the Editor, particularly of our local newspaper.

6. Read widely.

 

Again, I thank Rachael for the idea for the post. Isn’t is a good idea to stop, focus, and plan ahead?

The Next Big Thing

15 Jan

next big thing

next big thing

The delightful and talented Emily Wheeler has just honoured me.  I’ve been tagged;  tagged for The Next Big Thing! How lucky that I have a W.I.P. So, what do I do? Why, reveal some intriguing facts about my forthcoming title: AND nominate five other worthy writers.

1. What is the working title of your book?

Fortunately, that’s been decided. But, I would like to keep it under my hat! Suffice to say that those who read the forthcoming review of  my sixth title, ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’ by Shelleyrae at Book’d out will find it out. 🙂 A hint: it has musical connotations.

2. Where did the idea come from for your book?

Well, it’s a collection of Short Stories and vignettes: and I guess I just take little bits and pieces out of life as I’ve seen it, either through personal experience or through the eyes of others, and work out situations that could result.

3. What genre does it fall under?

I’ve already spilled the beans: it’s a collection of Short Stories and vignettes. While romance figures prominently, there are several human interest tales: all set in modern Australia.

4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Impossible to answer, since there are just so many people to portray!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Given its nature, that one is unanswerable. All I can say is, these are studies of relationships.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Along with all its stablemates: 25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia :A Taste of Life and Love in Australia: The Essence of Life and Love in Australia: Reflections of Life and Love in Australia: 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences: and Long and Short Australian Stories: this volume will be self-published. We like the total control this brings.

7.How long did it take you to write the first draft of your book?

I can give only an approximate answer: that being about six months. Winter ills slowed me down!

8. What other books would you compare your story to within the genre?

A tough question! People tell me my books fall into a different category to most. All I can think of is that, in common with the tales of James Herriot, they are mostly vignettes, and are relatively clean.

9.Who or what inspired you to write this book?

After a short break form writing, I decided to give it another go: thinking that it would be worthwhile to put together another collection. Several readers: Jeanette in particular: encouraged me greatly. As always, my husband and editor Ron supported me. Where would I be without him?

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The diversity of the book, both in content and structure, adds to its appeal. Although most tales are written in the normal way, some are set out as letters: a process which may well excite the reader’s imagination quite strongly.

Bloggers I am tagging.

1. http://authorjennyschwartz.com/

2. http://jaynefordham.com/

3. http://loreleiorion.com/wordpress/

4. http://www.rachaeljohns.com/

5. http://traceyalley.weebly.com/index.html

They’re all awesome!

Getting There…..

8 Jan

There’s nothing like reaching a goal to put a smile on one’s face.

Today, I finished the first revision of my soon-to-be published book: and, as each milestone is reached, a sense of intense satisfaction overtakes me.

Doubtless, many activities in countless fields of endeavour are capable of producing such good feelings.  Be it literature, music, art, sport or anything else: what beats reaching the goal, and being happy with the result?

I have dabbled in many things: in fact, all of the above: but somehow writing seems to capture my greatest sense of purpose and meaning.  For me, nothing beats the glow of delight in holding a brand new title in my hands.

Part of the pleasure in this lies in the fact that it’s the end product of collaboration between myself and Ron, my husband. His role as editor and cover designer are vital to the quality of  finished project: and, with customary talent, he performs these tasks admirably.

The title is still top secret: but, hopefully by February, all will be revealed.

Watch this space.

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What a display: West Australian Red-flowering Gums!

5 Jan

A week or two ago, I decided I’d better be quick: these beautiful flowering gums were passing their prime. So I immediately grabbed the camera and hot-footed it!

Eucalyptus ficifolia, as the botanists call it, is making its presence felt in the suburbs of Sydney these days as a stunning tree, both in gardens and, increasingly, as a street specimen. We are lucky in living close to several trees: and their brilliant displays have become a summer highlight.

I believe there is also a hybrid between these West Australian Red flowering Gums and Bloodwoods, another Eucalyptus. These varieties have bronze-coloured foliage.

Whatever type you see in bloom, my bet is that you’re assured of a glorious sight.

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Red Flowering Gum

Red Flowering Gum

Gardening: Good Therapy

4 Jan

In my younger day, I used to really enjoy gardening. Watching and nurturing the sprouting seeds: at first, delicate, almost invisible shoots popping up after just a few days in the ground: later, turning into often quite robust specimens of flowers, leaves, or veges. It seemed to me to be a most fascinating exercise.

But time moves on, and interests change. More and more, gardening took a back seat. The joy of caring for living plants somehow lost its magic: swept away into the recesses of my consciousness by the pressing demands of life.

Tonight, in the cool of early evening’s  dimming light, I re-discovered the pleasure that hands-on contact with nature can bring. Even in a spare half-hour, much can be accomplished: and I’m not just talking about trimming back the shrubs. No. To my mind, the real benefit is the relaxation of focusing on the natural world: the world of plants. Where would we be, without them?

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