A Gem of a Story

Don’t you feel great when your creative output has been steady? It’s a fabulous feeling when you reach another milestone.

I have just put the final full stop on this year’s entry in the RWA Little Gems competition. Each year, a different gemstone is selected as the theme around which the story is composed. I can’t give you any detail about my story, in case one of the judges happens to view this post. All entries are assessed anonymously.

Two years ago, my sunstone entry in the Little Gems competition, In the Cards was shortlisted and subsequently printed in that year’s anthology. It was a pleasant surprise as it was the first time I had entered a competition. The judges’ comments are really valuable to an emerging writer.

The following year, the required stone was onyx. That required a bit of creative contemplation, but the story “Capture the Moment” was polished and submitted. Sadly, it didn’t score highly enough, but I took on board the judges’ comments and re-worked a couple of areas. I’m happy with the end result.

This year the stone is Jade. It presented many options and I so enjoyed working on the evolving sApple Green Jade Gemtory. With my research, I learnt more about the stone as well. You will be familiar with the green colour in varying shades, but did you know it also found in lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black and grey? Of those, an apple green is the most traditional and expensive stone.

It is used extensively ornamentally, but there are also talismans and items of jewellery. It is also known to attract love and bring good luck. Perhaps I should have worn some jade instead of writing about it.

The thing I like about writing is it gets steadily better. My daily word count improves, my writing becomes tighter and more concise, and I’m better at self-editing. What I haven’t overcome is my gut-wrenching nervousness when I know someone is reading my work. It’s that old imposter syndrome that surfaces sometimes.

Aside from that, I really hope that you do read some of it. All reviews and feedback welcome. If you would like to receive a free copy of “Capture the Moment”, fill in the contact form below and I’ll email you the story. It’s only 3000 words so it won’t clog up your inbox.

Capture the Moment CoverWhen Ellie took the house-sitting contract including caring for Princess Leila, she had no idea it would lead to an assault in the middle of the night – nor that she would be the perpetrator. Would Luke Jefferson press charges?

On the downhill run

It has been slow progress but today I have started the last chapter of book 2.  The working title is ‘On My Wavelength’ with reference to the radio station that features in the book but this may change once I sit down and read the manuscript in its entirety. The problem is, when you take so long to write a book, you forget the finer detail of what you wrote in the beginning. I have resisted re-reading at this stage though as I know that I would get side-tracked with editing and re-writing and instead I want to focus on the final page.

Significant parts of my plotting for this novel have taken place in a local coffee shop. I tend to go for a lengthy walk on Sunday mornings and of course this takes in a coffee shop as well. I find that away from the distractions of home, I can get quite a bit done in the way of character analysis and plotting. I may write the first page or so as well, getting far enough into the chapter for the story to then take over. I find that handwriting helps the creativity as well.


There will be a third book in this series, but at this stage I only know who the central characters will be. I have no idea as yet on the direction of their particular journey or what will happen along the way.

This year’s conference of the Romance Writers’ of Australia is taking place in just under a month and as I intend pitching this novel to a couple of publishers, I need to have it finished and polished by then. It’s a good incentive. Time for another coffee to keep me going.