Archive for October, 2007

Photo Gallery Update

Have you visited our Photo Gallery recently?

This morning the gallery passed the 800,000 views mark.

Why don’t you go and have a look?

My wife, son and I have posted over 1230 photos in a wide range of categories – birds, animals, scenery (Australia and overseas), flowers, travel and culture, architecture – go and have a look. There’s something for most people. The gallery is growing fast as we are adding new shots almost daily.

Most of the photos are mine but both my wife and son have contributed many too.

When we went to visit our son in Sydney recently we took about 3000 slides with us. These slides were taken over about 40 years. He now has the huge task of scanning all of those photos on to his computer. He actually offered to do this for us. What a wonderful son. Eventually many of them will also find their way into the gallery, so come back often.


Ama Dablam, Nepal

Ama Dablam, Nepal

The Adventures of Nancy – enjoying the sunshine

Nancy enjoying the sunshine

Nancy enjoying the sunshine

Hi there,

Nancy here again.

I am really enjoying my holiday with Grandpa Trevor and Grandma Corinne. They are so good to me. They play games with me. They always remember to feed me. I love sitting on their laps. Sometimes Grandpa slips me a little bit of his Anzac biscuit, or a little piece of cheese. Yum, yum.

Today’s photo shows me relaxing in the sunshine. This holiday is helping me to really relax. I hope that I’m not putting on weight though. Do I look fat? Perhaps I should go and get my lead so they can take me for a walk.

Talk to you soon,


Writing Hint #37: Take a break

The writer’s (and blogger’s) life can be tedious. It can also be lonely.

In your writing life you need to have times of refreshment, times of relaxation, times of recreation and time out from writing and blogging. It is important to have a social life, to get out there with friends and family and essentially to “get a life.” Staring a computer screen 16 hours a day for weeks on end is a sure way of driving you stir crazy. Sometimes when a project is due, or it needs to be finished, long hours are needed. Granted.

Start scheduling days off. Most workers have days or weekends off, so why shouldn’t you? Your writing will benefit greatly from the time of relaxation because you will come back to it with renewed enthusiasm and fresh insights.

Schedule a holiday where you get a substantial block of time completely away. I recently had a 24 day driving holiday in the eastern states of Australia. I only wrote a short journal entry in the evenings, and not every day. The experiences I had while away will keep me inspired for months. (The downside is that it has given me the desire to travel more. Not a bad thing I guess, especially if it inspires me.)

Get a life.

Take a break.

Good writing.

The Adventures of Nancy – my new bed

Nancy in her new bed

Nancy in her new bed

Hi there,

This is Nancy again.

Wow! Look at my new bed in the photo above. My Mum bought that for me recently. I’ve been meaning to show it off but Mum hasn’t taken a photo of it yet. So I sneakily set up Grandpa’s digital camera to take a self portrait. I’m so clever.

I love my comfortable new bed. It is so warm and cosy and just the right size for me. And there is no room for my friend Butch. Anyway, he has his own bed AND a bean bag. I wish I had a bean bag. He won’t share his. He gets jealous.

Well, it’s nearly time for bed. I feel so sleepy, and that nice warm bed is calling to me.

Good night.

Talk to you soon,


How to be a more productive writer or blogger

The writer’s life is a minefield of potential distractions. Getting control over these distractions is the key to being a productive writer or blogger. Here is a list of some very practical things you can do to increase your productivity.

  1. Write first: ignore the email and RSS feeds first thing in the morning. Get a substantial amount of writing and editing done before you allow such distractions. In most cases the incoming emails will not generate income, but your writing has that potential. Put first things first.
  2. Turn off the television: switch off that huge distraction in the living room. Better yet – get rid of it. If you must have a television, limit yourself to only a few select favourite programmes. Record these and only watch them as a reward for reaching your writing goals.
  3. Turn off talk back radio: I know this is a particular problem for me. I enjoy listening to radio but it is so distracting I get nothing done, so I rarely allow myself this distraction. The world will still go on if I don’t listen.
  4. Set firm goals: if you have no set goals for your writing and blogging you are on a slippery slope. Set firm goals, strive hard to achieve them and constantly monitor your progress on a daily basis.
  5. Remove games from your computer: I used to have a problem with this in the early days of computing but it rarely concerns me now. These days I only use them for relaxation or as a reward. Sometimes months go by without playing a game. Get control of this distraction or it will control you.
  6. Take the phone off the hook: this can be a problem on some days for me and I’ve been known to take this drastic step. If you receive many business calls related to your writing, this may not be a practical solution. Consider letting all calls go to the answering machine, then do all your calls back in a block at a more convenient time. This is a more effective use of time. Train your friends to only call when you are not writing, for example, in the evenings.
  7. Carry a notepad: When you are away from your computer always carry a notepad. Waiting in line at the supermarket, in the doctor’s waiting room, waiting for the traffic lights to change, in a train or bus or plane, use those precious minutes to write. Jot down blog or story ideas. Do a character sketch, write a plot outline, make a “Writing To Do List.”

Share your ideas:

Now that you’ve read my list, I’m sure you will come up with other strategies for being more productive. Share them in the comments section so we can all benefit.

The easy part:

Reading this list is the easy part. The application is the hard part.

Good writing.