I’m excited that I’ve got a whole host of My Secret Life posts lined up for 2013, but before we close on 2012, I’ve got Pamela Cook here today talking about what she does when she’s not writing.
Pamela’s debut novel Blackwattle Lake released last month and is another book high up in my TBR pile. Can’t wait to get to it. Welcome Pamela…
So lovely to be here on Rachael’s blog to chat about my “other” (non-writing) life.
I’m a high school English teacher by profession but decided a few years ago to concentrate more on my writing and teaching writing to adults which I do through my business Justwrite (www.justwrite.net.au). Being a very undisciplined person means it’s easy for me to fritter away my days and feel like I’m not getting anywhere. When I write it’s usually in bursts, spending a few days a week during school hours or at night writing and revising. Then I have periods where I hardly get to the page. As much as I’d love to practice what I preach and write every day it generally doesn’t happen.
So how do I spend my time when I’m not writing?
Well, I’m the mother of three girls ranging in age from 12 to 20 so I’m often dropping off or picking up, attending concerts, presentations, canteen duty – all you mums out there know the drill. I kept thinking it would get easier as they got older but I’m still waiting!
As you’ll see when you read my book, I’m a horse lover, a pastime I got into once again through my children who have all ridden from a young age. We don’t actually live in the country but agist our horses on a property just south of Sydney and since I was spending so much time there I thought I may as well have a horse myself. Morocco is a quarter horse and has been with me for six years now. He’s as happy to plod along as I am and behaves himself pretty well as long as I don’t push him too hard. Having started riding as an adult I’m not as confident as I’d like to be but I do the occasional Western Show, dressing up in all the bling. It’s a lot of fun – as long as I keep my nerves under control!
On the volunteer front I’m the secretary of a Pony Club and I until recently was the Students Helping Students Co-ordinator for Room to Read. It’s a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. I went to India a couple of years ago to see their programs in action and was amazed at the wonderful work they do. I’ve taken a step back now to focus more on my writing but am liaising with the Writer Ambassadors who do a wonderful job spreading the word about Room to Read in schools.
I manage to squeeze in a game of tennis most weeks and attend my writing group, The Writers’ Dozen, fortnightly at The NSW Writer’s Centre. I’m not much of a TV watcher but I do love to read – my to be read pile is ridiculously large. My reading tastes are pretty eclectic but I do love Australian writers and Tim Winton is my all time fave.
When I’m not at home I’m at my “other” house on the south coast of NSW. We have a small property there which is up in the hills with a spectacular view out over the bush to the sea. It’s a great place to chill out with the horses and just generally relax. The physical space is great for generating ideas and when I’m there I always find inspiration for my writing.
Which brings me back to what I should be doing a lot more of. My plan for 2013 is to develop some of that discipline I sorely lack and write every day. Wish me luck!
I’m sure you won’t need much luck Pamela. Seeing your cover for the first time and holding that book baby in your hands is VERY good motivation and inspiration! We have a fair few things in common – the English teacher and three kids for a start. Thanks for sharing your other life Pamela and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Blackwattle Lake.
For Eve Nicholls, walking up the driveway of her childhood home brings up many emotions, and not all good. The horses that she loved still dot the paddocks but the house is empty, and the silence inside allows her memories to flood back. She’s glad to have her best friend Banjo the kelpie with her . . . and a bottle of bourbon. Her plan is simple: sell the farm, grab the cash and get the hell out.
Despite Eve’s desire to keep a low profile, within days of her return she runs into all the people she hoped to avoid. At the house she is surrounded by memories and worse. But with a lifetime of clutter to sort out, there’s plenty to take her mind off it all. Slowly, she begins to discover the girl she used to be: Angie Flanagan – adventurous, animal-loving, vulnerable. When tragedy strikes, Eve realises that changing her name all those years ago in an attempt to hide from her past has not changed the truth of what happened or who she really is.
Blackwattle Lake is available wherever books are sold in Australia and also online, including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo.