Whoosh! July is zipping past, and almost done. I’ve been quietly busy with assorted things – a sick dog, who is now back to her normal Princess self again; writing; knitting; paperwork; reading blogs and following happenings at the RWAmerica conference on Orlando, and generally getting through winter days. I had a lovely trip ‘down the hill’ to Bellingen this week to meet with some of the ladies from the North Coast RWAus group – it’s a 2 hour drive each way, winding through the tablelands and then down the escarpment. The scenery is very pretty, although on Wednesday it was muted through misty rain/clouds/fog most of the way there and back.
Coming back from Bellingen, about 20 kms from home, I realised that the car was making a vibrating sound that it shouldn’t. So on Thursday I took it t the Toyota place, and one of the mechanics took it for a drive, and then put it up on the hoist for a quick look. The initial verdict is that there’s a problem in the gear box. Hopefully I’ll hear on Monday just how much of a problem, and the cost to fix it. In the meantime, since we’re regulars there for car services etc, they’ve very kindly lent me a car for the weekend – much newer than mine, but the particular shade of green is definitely not my taste! (I have described it as metallic, bright, radioactive-baby-poo green!)
As July disappears and August looms, I’m counting down to a few things: the Romance Writers of Australia conference starts in less than 2 weeks, and I’ll head down to Sydney on August 11th for 5 days. Dark Country is a finalist in the RWAus Romantic Book of the Year Awards, which will be announced on Saturday 14th. I’m also counting down to the Davitt Awards, coordinated by Sisters in Crime, which will be announced in Melbourne on August 28th. And I’ll soon be counting down to my next surgery – no date yet, but I’m expecting it will be late August/early September. I’m not looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to getting it over and done with, and getting back to a normal life!
But the BIG thing I’m counting down to – the one that’s really close – is the announcement of the winners of the RWAmerica RITA Awards – and that’s only about 15 hours away! Dark Country is a finalist in the romantic suspense category, along with some other wonderful books and authors, so the competition is stiff!
There are three Australian RITA finalists – Elizabeth Rolls, in the Regency Historical category with Lord Braybrook’s Penniless Bride; Kelly Hunter, in the contemporary series category, with Revealed: A Prince and a Pregnancy; and my book, Dark Country. Elizabeth was able to go to the RWAmerica conference in Orlando, so she’s over there now, and I’m hoping she’s having a fantastic time! The conference is a huge event, with 2100 attendees, and having been to a couple of them, I’m sure the buzz is building now towards the excitement of the gala awards night.
Kelly is a good friend and lives not far from me, and neither of us could go to Orlando this year. Saturday night Orlando time is Sunday morning here, so we’re getting together for brunch at a café in town tomorrow morning, where we’ll celebrate finalling, and follow the award announcements on Twitter and on the RWAmerica website. Wintry Sunday mornings in Armidale don’t call for evening dress, so we’ll be dressed rather more informally (and warmly!) than our fellow finalists, but I’m sure we’ll have fun, anyway 🙂 And if either of us does happen to win, the café does have champagne for sale!