Nicole Flockton

Be whatever you want to be.

22 May 2006

Birthday Countdown

5 sleeps and counting. That is until Skylar's party on Saturday.

So I succumbed and invited the whole class plus a couple of extras so, so far I have 16 little kids coming. ACK!!!!

I've organised a face painter and the games I'm going to have are pin the tail on the donkey and pass the parcel. Will have to think of something else I think. Any suggestions? Easy kids party games?

I'm sure its going to be an interesting day and well I've just checked the weather forecast and it will be fine which will be great and it means they can run around my parent's backyard.

I went to a party of one of the kids yesterday and it was at a play centre. That is a good idea. LOL

I think I'll start a bank account just for the kids birthday parties.

I'll give a report on Monday.


18 May 2006

The Price of Life

What is the worst thing that could happen to you? The thing that could possibly scare the beejebers out of you?

Well for me it's something happening to me or my kids. I sometimes get scared of something happening to me and not being there to see my kids grow up. It just doesn't bear thinking about. Or what about something happening to one of your kids? Again something I don't want to think about. But for a guy a work it's something that he lives with day after day.

I'm not going to give his real name but I'll call him John. Late last year John thought he'd take his two kids on a holiday. Somewhere nice, somewhere where they could have fun and just be together. You see John is divorced so anytime with his kids is precious. So after a family discussion they came to the conclusion that they'll go to Bali.

I think some of you maybe able to see what is happening here. Yes that's right they went at the time of the second lot of bombings in Bali. Just as Bali was getting back on their feet after the devasting bombings of 2002 it happened again.

Now for me I'd never known anyone associated with either bombing until John started to work with us. On that fateful Saturday night, John's son lost his life, John and his daughter were badly injured. John's daughter suffered burns and shrapnel wounds and I think it was about a week or so after the inital bombing that she was told of her brothers' death. At the funeral John was delivered by ambulance and on a hospital bed. John is currently in a wheelchair.

You can see the pain in John's eyes and the first time we had drinks in the office it was a big effort for him to come along. John spends every morning in rehab hoping to gain the use of his legs again. Last week he told me a little about his injuries and showed me a wound. He has shrapnel from those dirty bombs buried deep in his body.

He told me today that he had a time trial at rehab. He accomplished 199m in 6 minutes using his crutches. He then showed me how he could take a few steps with out the aid of the crutches. He has set his goal and his goal is to walk again unaided. The spinal injury he suffered has put his balance off a little. He also told me that he has set the goal to walk without crutches because if he'd just set the goal to walk with them he would then accomplish that and never try for more. He spoke with a steely determination and I couldn't help but admire him.

His daughter lives in a country town so he lives on his own. He is fiercely independent and initially I didn't know what to say to him. But now, after him volunteering that information today, I'll ask him about his rehab and I'll do my best to try and encourage him anyway I can.

We hear about the devastation of the bombings, the lives lost but this is where the real story lies. The grit and determination of a person injured to get back what was taken from them. He will carry around the guilt and plenty of what if's for the rest of his life. But time will heal him and with his determination I don't doubt that in a couple of years time he'll be walking again.

Go John!!


15 May 2006

Contest Result

You may recall that earlier I posted that I had entered a Query and Synopsis contest. Well I didn't make the second round. Missed out by about 3% but hey I got an average of 83.8% score on my entry and for my first contest I'm extremely happy with that.

All the judges felt I had a good feel for the line and liked my plot.

I found the comments helpful and will read them again and look them over to see how I can use them to improve my MS.

Each judge had different views and I guess that would be expected seeing as I might love a book and the next person might dislike it immensely.

Each of the judges were past contest finalists/winner and all were published, one in a genre other than romance and the other two in romance.

So for my first contest experience I'll have to say that I'm extremely pleased I took the plunge. Even though it was scary to put it out there I made the first step on the way to getting myself ready for publication.

The Letter and Synopsis are really what sell your book. The fact that I can send the first three chapters is a bonus too.

Now all I have to do is see how I want to interpret the comments and see how they fit into the tone of my book.

As one Aussie author said:

"It's so good to get feedback too, from the judges. I know you know this already, but just work on the stuff that really resonates with you, the comments that make you go - oh yeah, that's what I was wondering - or where they all agree on something. Maybe there's something to think about in that case. I do love contests, but it's always worth remembering that it's *your* work and that in the end, the only judge who really counts is the one with the power to buy your manuscript."

Her comments are very valid too and one I will take note of.

So as I said, even though I didn't make the second round I am really pleased that I finally took the plunge and did something positive in my quest to be accepted.