Saturday, 8 November 2014

Reflections on 2014, the year my book got published and other random stuff happened.

2014 has been one of the most exciting, wonderful, stressful and ridiculous years EVER, for me and my family!

Perhaps the quickest way to explain is via a timeline.

Here goes...


Jeff is made redundant and his mum is several months into chemotherapy.  We take the opportunity to holiday with her in New Zealand, and take a much needed mental health break.

The holiday is fabulous and we return to Singapore energised and ready to face the year ahead.


I receive an advanced copy of Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs and a lifelong dream comes true.

I create and blog wildly and excitedly about frogs, slime, potato chips and endangered turtles.

Despite my bookish joy, I spend several days in the fetal position worrying about my family's future.


We give notice to the school, to our landlord and to our friends and families that we will be moving to Perth at the end of the school term.

Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs is released in Australia and serialised in the ED! section of the Western Australian.

Closetful of Books sign a distribution deal with Fremantle Press and Darcy Moon arrives in Singapore.

I give school talks to over 700 grade 3,4 and 5 kids at the Australian International School and hold a lunchtime launch with Freddo Frogs and cake to celebrate.


We organise packers, movers, flights etc.

Fremantle Press sell the US rights to Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs to the New York Publishing House, Starbright books.

We celebrate and throw a book launch party at the Singapore Arts House.  My daughter sings and my son makes an impromptu speech. There is a queue of people wanting a signed copy of Darcy Moon. It's dreamlike and wonderful and the culmination of years of hard work.

But it is also farewell. After 3 and a half fantastic years in Singapore, it's time say goodbye to some of my dearest friends.

The next day we fly to Perth.


We buy a car, go house hunting and reconnect with family and friends.

Jeff and I take long walks by the ocean. We are together, riding the storm. Our children are happy and Jeff's mum has responded well to chemo. These things make us happy.

Jeff lands a fantastic job... in SINGAPORE !

We tell our friends and family we are leaving. There are tears, hysterical laughter, and much wine.


Jeff starts travelling with work while I organise packers, movers, flights, short term accommodation etc.

I do radio interviews, phone interviews and write promotional articles for Darcy Moon and attend the SCBWI WA Rottnest Retreat.

Fremantle Press sell publish rights to the Turkish publishing house to Aylak Adam Publishing. My first translation deal !


We fly back to Singapore, go house hunting, negotiate tenancy agreements, open bank accounts, source a new car, adopt a bunny and reclaim our two turtles which we had to leave behind.

Jeff travels to the jungles of Papua New Guinea.


I fly back to Perth for my first ever Book Week as a published author. I have a whirlwind week of library and school visits and am honoured to present the West Australian Young Writer's Awards, where I am humbled by some seriously talented and inspiring young writers.

I return to Singapore to a problem.

We can't move into our new home as planned, because our unorthodox comings and goings have confused the moving company and a 40 foot container of our stuff is still in Perth.

After yet another night in the fetal position, I rise to organise rental furniture and self medicate with a heavy dose of household-goods-retail-therapy.

We move in to our new house three days later and use picnic cutlery for the next month.


I make my first ever book store appearance at Kinokuniya and
receive my first ever royalties payment. Wow!

Our furniture arrives and we sleep in our own beds for the first time in 5 months.

The kids have 2 weeks school holidays, Jeff takes a week off and we enjoy some down time with our first visitors, Uncle Paul and Finn.


The kids start the final school term of the year.

Thomas's team comes second in the SCC Rugby Tournament and Sian gets picked to dance a special extra part in her ballet Christmas concert.

We buy a BBQ and start to entertain in our wonderful new garden.

I download scrivener and reconnect with my work in progress (which I haven't looked at since 2013). I reconnect with my characters and it's like a reunion with long lost friends.


I reflect on the craziness of the year gone by, and can not believe Christmas is nearly here.

In summary;

To my writerly friends, I am sure you will understand the excitement and challenges my book journey has brought me this year. It's been a huge learning curve with plenty of firsts for me. I'm now looking forward to settling into the silent days of creativity yet again. My next blog I am sure, will be full of artistic angst.

As a dear friend of mine once said, 'Why doesn't life ever go in a straight line?' To my expat friends as you deal with your own dramatic twists and turns, think of this story and have a laugh. After all, you can only stay in the fetal position so long.

And finally, there were times I didn't think I would survive, but now we are on solid ground again, I will remember 2014 as one of the craziest roller coaster rides of my life.

Thank you for being a part of it.

Merry Christmas!