Chilling with Books Corner, changes, and inspiration

Normally my Chilling Corner would be featuring an author for March 2023. However, for the last few months my time has been limited and probably will continue to be until the end of the year. The whole idea of support is not to withdraw it when time poor but to work with it, particularly when these authors I spotlight are so incredible and where I draw constant inspiration. But I am on a mission to complete my Unexpected Love series and working hard on another project, a psychological drama that currently won’t let me rest. Hence changes are necessary.

My hope is that every time one of my spotlighted authors has something say, including but not exclusive to a new book, I will be able to add it to my Chilling Corner. That same hope applies to my own work and my everyday life. So maybe changes are not so bad as long as inspiration still rules.

Barb’s News

My books

Edits are complete but not finished for Unexpected Passion. Another author would understand the craziness of that statement. It means that the manuscript is in a semblance of order that a professional can look at with more ease. (I hope). From there the manuscript needs to be reworked, re-edited, and the list goes on. Of course, that is relative to the individual. Some are fortunate enough to have less to do, some not.

Why do we do it? It takes a toll, an enormous one at time as all hard work does. Yet, I cannot ignore that word – inspiration. Whenever I read something that inspires or just gives pleasure I am drawn back into wanting to do the same. So here’s hoping that my manuscript is returned with some positives. In the meantime I am trying to get ahead on my third book Unexpected Celebrations. It is such a joyful book if full of drama.

The world around me

Currently I am spending a week in a small coastal town where my youngest daughter resides with her partner and two small, marshmallow-sweet children. They are delightfully funny and scarily clever. This visit proved so different to my last trip which was to see my eldest daughter in Melbourne. Not better, just different. A slower pace.

Kids delivered to respective school and my daughter at work, I walked down to the local café (See photos below) and my reel on Instagram. Honesty though, insists I need to declare my stuff up with the music for the reel. Don’t ask! Social media and I have a love hate relationship which is why I didn’t include the link to my Instagram account.

I have been a vegetarian, dairy free and mostly sugar free for almost nine months. My choice to do this is based on health issues and is in nature of an experiment. Choosing something to eat outside my own home is confusing, worse it is time consuming. Cities are so much easier for this, or are they?

Noticing my deliberation, the owner of Blend, Gladstone approached in a very friendly and caring manner and offered to solve my dilemma and asked I put myself in their hands. The result was a wonderful dish of green that tasted as good as it looked.

Small towns, big kindnesses equals inspiration. What else needs to be said, except that regional towns have a lot to offer, and I need to investigate further.

On a different note, I met a very interesting lady the other day through work. Inspiration is everywhere. She runs a blog displaying humour, common sense, and style. This encounter and my reading of her many blog posts made me reflect and rethink and has led to changes, some yet to be determined. Although the other posts are highly entertaining and informative I found the post on plants resonated the most. I have written posts on nature and its benefits a few times and it was good to be reminded. My favourite is one I did on Judith Wright, an advocate of nature and a beautiful poet.

Actually I already have a small garden on my balcony and things were going well until I discovered a well-fed grasshopper (it was huge and I mean huge) and pieces missing from my Moreton Bay Fig, a tree I have nurtured from leaf babyhood in a container of water. The day it began sprouting roots I was ecstatic. When it reached well over 60 centre metres in height, I was beyond words. When my leaves went missing I was so sad.

There is always an upside and invigorated, I have decided on a cactus garden. Take that to chew on, you mean old grasshopper.

Books I have read and Films I have seen

A Man called Otto by Fredrick Backman

I  have only just completed reading the book. After loving the film because it provided a splendid mixture of tears and laughter on a very serious topic, I couldn’t wait to grab the written words. Tom Hanks managed to make a surly character incredibly loveable, but it was the people around him that brought that out. Most of us are guilty at some stage of not looking below the surface. I did it once a long time ago but thankfully was given a second chance. Sometimes people are so much more than we see and so the idea of this taciturn character forced into the world by a determined woman and not in a romantic sense, fascinated me and still does. His ability to love is almost his downfall and the ability of someone else to see below the surface is a lesson in humility. So many mixed emotions surface as we delve into a man so reluctant to exist and so good despite his intentions.

Another interesting thing did crop up however in my reading of the book. The central female character and her family had a nationality change in the film. Why, I have to wonder? It worked in the book as it was. A change in nationality did not make sense. Did I miss something? It saddened me a little, this desire of film makers to change things. If you have read the book and seen the film and have worked out this idiosyncrasy, can you let me know.

Alla prossima,


If you are feeling kindly disposed, please feel free to check out my books. I would love some more input on Unexpected Obsession before I release Unexpected Passion. Links below.

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then I would appreciate you leaving a review. It helps a writer in their quest to improve.

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  1. I enjoyed your blog today, Barbara, and was so happy to know that you’ve seen the movie and now read the book about Uve/Otto. I thoroughly enjoyed both. As an American, my take on the change in nationality for the neighbors grew out of the ongoing challenges we have with our border with Mexico and the very unfortunate proliferation of white nationalism. We were taught practically from birth that the United States was and is “a melting pot” of immigrants. It’s only as we grow older that we learn that every new wave of immigrants has been “welcomed” with disdain and suspicion. The Irish were treated badly in New York. The Chinese were treated badly in California. Eventually, though, most immigrants are assimilated into the fabric of society and are accepted, for the most part. Sadly, though, Donald Trump came along and took advantage of a growing prejudice against brown-skin people and in particular those wanting to escape the poverty, violence, and corruption in Central America. Trump emboldened that segment of the US population to become increasingly vocal in their hatred — which is actually based on the fear that whites will become the minority in the US within two or three decades. Trump played on those fears to the hilt and continues to do so. That’s a long explanation, but I believe that element of hatred and mistrust of immigrants coming from Central America is probably what prompted the decision makers in Hollywood to make Otto’s new neighbors Latino. The whole situation here baffles me. I still believe in the America that is a beacon of freedom — a place where everyone is welcome. I pray it will remain so. Best wishes to you as you work on your various projects. I’m glad you got a change of scenery for a few days as you visited your daughter and precious grandchildren. Take care. – Janet in North Carolina

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