I have always been a huge festive season person, long, hot days, plenty of good cheer (the food and wine kind) and time with family and friends. We’re used to big christmases in the bush and with the temperature gauge usually soaring, on-farm jobs are scheduled for mornings so the Christmas week can be enjoyed. This year it was a blur and not in that, ‘should I have another glass’ way. The feeding of cattle and checking of watering points was mixed up with the completion of the first draft of my next novel, Sunset Ridge. With the family away for Christmas and my due date for the submission of my next novel already a distant memory I was on a serious deadline, particularly as a holiday to the coast was also looming. Throw in numerous heat waves and before I knew it 2012 had morphed into 2013. Plenty of people manage to get their ‘to-do’ lists completed by the New Year but alas I am certainly not one this year. It was with relief (and a packet of frozen peas on my hand) that I hit the send button to email the draft manuscript through – Yippee.
2012 was a big year however and it is always with excitement and a huge sigh of relief that a new novel is birthed and presented to the world. And I guess – at least for me, a sense of amazement that I have managed to fit everything in. The promotional tour for Absolution Creek morphed into a 4.5 week, three state event which ran the gamut of northern Queensland down to Victoria. What a privilege to see so much of our beautiful country and in particular visit so many remote areas especially as 2012 was the National Year of Reading. 2012 was also the Australian Year of the Farmer and we can only hope that this initiative raised awareness nationally as to the importance Australian producers play in the production of world class food and fibre.
Of course at the beginning of last year many of us were in the grip of major flooding and as I write this we have just received 70mm of rain over the weekend. With half our mob walking the long paddock the rain was gratefully received. Some decent followup would see us being able to bring them home in a matter of weeks. So I’m back from the Sunshine Coast and feeling particularly grateful that Oswald allowed me to get out and hoping that the many individuals suffering from both Oswald’s wrath and the on-going bushfires are coping. February is looking jam-packed, there are the edits for Sunset Ridge to complete and the initial planning and research for 2014 s yet untitled novel, there are also the station accounts, a fencing project, our cropping program to be clarified, a non-fiction book project to raise funds for Breast Cancer research and a new literary prize. The latter two of which I’ll be sharing with you very soon…
So here’s to 2013. This year I hope to finish my ‘to-do’ list before 2014 begins ….