Christmas and creativity

December is my favourite time of year. It’s all Christmas baking (and yeah, eating), non-stop catch-ups with friends and driving past decorated houses that would make Clark Griswold proud. But what I love just as much is that sense of winding down and hope for a fresh, new year.

I spent most of today looking over old footage and photos of our growing puppy, Henry, as well as photos from our UK/Europe trip and I loved every second of it. I make a point of looking back at what I’ve done through the year (especially what I’ve enjoyed) before the New Year resolution fever grips me. If you’ve never done it, give it a go. Especially if you’re a writer. Jotting down your 2013 highlights and achievements is a great reminder of all the fun stuff that bubbled up from your hard work.

For me, December is about embracing fun and creativity. It’s for ‘filling the well’ before we get too serious and ambitious on 1 January. So get crafty with your Christmas wrapping, go to a Christmas concert, bake something ambitious, catch up with a group of friends and talk absolute nonsense, make a tower out of your to-be-read book pile, or (and I really want to do this again soon) go to the movies and see two films back-to-back. The next few weeks are for living it up and relaxing!

While it may not sound relaxing to everyone, I’m also looking forward to developing two new YA projects this Christmas. They’re both in their infancy – all random, scrappy notes with plot holes and fat question marks – and if this morning is anything to go by, this photo could sum up my Christmas/New Year (complete with snoozing pup).

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So that’s me signing off for 2013. I hope you have a fun and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Farewell 2011, and hello free books!

If you’re anything like me then you’re re-watching your favourite Christmas films, getting squidgy around the middle from all the end-of-year parties and counting down the work days until your holidays begin.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s been a tumultuous year but one I’ll look back on with heaps of good memories. If I had to pick three highlights of 2011, they would be:

1. Getting in to the One Book Many Brisbanes anthology.

2. Settling into my first house. (I’m still trying to erase the misery of buying the house from my mind.)

3. Walking a tiger for my birthday. Here’s the proof.

Well, walking is a strong word. It was a hot day and the lovely 4yo, Kaitlyn, felt like lying down in the grass rather than walking which gave me more time to chill out with her at Australia Zoo.

But enough about me. Christmas is almost here, and it’s the season for giveaways!

I’ll be giving away two copies of the One Book Many Brisbanes anthology on my blog.

If you would like to put your name in the hat (yep, I’m old fashioned like that), tell me one of your 2011 highlights in the comments section. The giveaway is only open to those with an Australian mailing address. (Sorry to those from far-off places!)

Get in quick. I’ll be closing the freebie draw at midnight on 18 December so I can mail the books out before Christmas. (Fingers crossed.) I’ll update this post when the winners have been announced.

If I don’t hear from you, then I wish you a lazy, fun-filled Christmas and a peaceful beginning to 2012. xo

**UPDATE: Well, I put the names in my straw summer hat and asked the boy to draw out two lucky winners. Congratulations to Lynn Priestley and Sara M! Email me your postal addresses for your copy of the One Book Many Brisbanes 6 anthology.**