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Milly and the Vacuum

A friend sent me this the other day, saying you could do this with Milly. (My dog sheds a lot of black hair, especially now at the beginning of summer.)  I laughed, seeing the black dog in the video blissfully enjoying being vacuumed.


Because the minute I start up the vacuum cleaner, this is what Milly looks like. Here she’s under a table,  but she could easily be under a chair or half buried under the doona on my bed — generally in a room where the vacuum cleaner is not.. The vacuum cleaner is not her friend. 


Awards Night

Last night it was the 30th annual Romance Writers of Australia Awards night, and this happened . . .

I was thrilled to bits, as this was my first (and so far only) self-published book. And of course, it’s a huge honor to win.

It was a bit of a weird night. You see the conference was in Queensland, and because of CoVid restrictions the Queensland borders were closed to those of us in Victoria (my state) and New South Wales (where Sydney is) — the states with the largest populations. Add to that the rule that people from other states would probably have to do a two week quarantine on returning home — which would take them into Christmas — and pretty much the only people who could attend were the Queenslanders.

So I, and most of the other winners and finalists were watching the presentations on line from our homes.

Still, it was interesting watching the evening from my lounge-room, often like a silent movie because they turned the sound off while people were eating, which felt a little creepy. *g* But I always enjoy seeing who’s finalling and who’s winning and seeing the newer writers come up through the various competitions RWAustralia runs. Some of the multi-published authors who were presenting the prizes, I recall as the unpublished competition winners of some years ago, so the whole affair has an on-going tribal feeling that I really enjoy.

I wasn’t able to make a speech but if I had I would have thanked my friends, in particular Keri Arthur, who helped enormously, Carol Marinelli, Alison Reynolds and Fay Thomev who each gave me excellent feedback on the story draft, and Pat Rice and Mary Jo Putney who gave me self-publishing advice and encouragement, as well as story feedback. I am blessed in my friends.

Congratulations to the other R*BY winners. Here’s the full list:
Contemporary Romance  Her Cowboy Prince Madeline Ash
Historical  Romance An Unexpected Companion Janis Linford
Novel with Romantic Elements  Just an Ordinary Family Fiona Lowe
Romantic Suspense Easy Target Shannon Curtis
Speculative Fiction High Flyer Michelle Diener
Romance Novella  The Christmas Bride Anne Gracie





Visiting Ducks

At the supermarket where I most commonly shop, one of the shopkeepers nearby rips up  stale bread rolls  and tosses them under one of the trees  in the parking area. Birds cluster there in noisy flocks, waiting for their daily bread, mostly  pigeons and a few seagulls, but the other day I was delighted to see a couple of ducks.

I’m very fond of ducks, as was my father. We even kept a few ducks when I was a kid, and of the various varieties we had, my favorite was the Khaki Campbell, a brown duck — ours were very friendly. And the ducklings were so sweet — little tortoiseshell bundles of fluff.

But these were wild ducks and though they looked a bit like Khaki Campbells, I knew they weren’t. That stripy head and their beautiful blue bills made that clear. I looked them up and they’re Pacific Black Ducks.

I’ve never seen them in this area before. They usually hang out near water, not in supermarket car parks, but we’d had a whopper of a storm the day before and there was still puddles everywhere, so I guess they felt at home. At any rate they happily devoured the bread, seemingly unbothered by the other birds, or by me, edging  ever closer to take a photo.

It was just a little insignificant moment, but it really made me smile. Sometimes the smallest things can make my day.