I was overseas with my mother from the 2nd of March 2020, to the 18th of March 2020. A lot happened with coronavirus in Australia during this time, and when we returned, we were legally required to enter self-isolation. This is my brief diary to document my experiences. (For other posts see: Prelude. Part one. Part two. Part three. Part four. Part five. Part six. Part seven. Part eight. Part nine. Part ten. Part eleven.)


Thoughts that kept me awake…

Had a restless night and couldn’t sleep well. I got up halfway through the night to take drugs as my hip (my normally good hip) was hurting.

But it wasn’t just pain that was keeping me up. I was busy thinking about writing. I am enthused about ‘When Darkness Speaks’. Once I’ve finished all the edits, it is the kind of novel I can approach publishers with. Then I was thinking: I don’t have a suitable young adult novel to go with it. Not in a trilogy kind of a way, but in a three-book-deal kind of way.

There is the Hooksby series, which I’ve drafted four complete novels for, but I wrote them very early in my writing life. They are part of an anticipated nine book series, and I thought I’d write the last five before going back and fixing the first four… That’s a lot of work.

Then there is ‘I Felt That’, which I wrote in NaNoWriMo 2018. It’s about a teen with mirror touch synthesia who gets sent to fat camp and discovers that not everything is as it seems. I don’t mind the story but I wrote it in first person and it is so painful. Because it was a NaNoWriMo project I pushed on but, otherwise, I probably would’ve stopped, rewritten in third person, and then continued. That being said, I’m still not entirely sure that third person is right – it might be having another character, not my Alice, in first person. So anyway, this is a long way of saying that I think ‘I Felt That’ is a novel I should be working on.

There is also ‘The Lie I Told About Finn Langley’ which is a weird novel and not technically young adult – it’s told from the perspective of a 30 year old reflecting back on her high school years. I’m cautious about this novel because it is atypical and it’s also short. I like it, but I don’t know that it’s publishable.

So, anyway. The conclusion is that the next novel I write might have to be a young adult. This probably should be editing ‘I Felt That’. I don’t have any strong new ideas at the moment, but I do have peripheral ideas – and ideas that include a lot of historical research. I had been planning to write a middle grade novel (A boy who forms a friendship with the merman at his father’s zoo, and sets about a plan to get the merman back home). That might have to go on hold as I complete my YA mission.

So, this is what I was thinking instead of sleeping last night. The good news is that I don’t have anything to do today, so I slept in and woke up relatively fresh.



I got out and watered those new grass seeds straight away.

After having more success with writing sprints than with just writing, I did eight fifteen-minute sprints today, while watering the front lawn and moving the sprinkler with each sprint. Here’s my word counts:

  • Sprint 1 – 733
  • Sprint 2 – 732
  • Spring 3 – 738
  • Sprint 4 – 582 (phone call in the middle!)
  • Sprint 5 – 1040 words (there was a conversation I didn’t hate so got to copy most of it over to the working document)
  • Sprint 6 – 681
  • Sprint 7 – 995 (another decent conversation)
  • Spring 8 – 1093 (another scene without a lot to change)

I’m using the split screen process in Scrivener, which I love. I have the old draft on the right hand side, the new draft in the middle, and all the scenes/chapters on the left. As I’m writing the new draft (using the old draft as a reference), I delete the old draft as necessary. I’m sure there are a lot of features of Scrivener I don’t use, but the features I do use, I love!



After all my writing, I checked on my orchard and it seems like the puppy pen worked to keep the creatures away overnight.

I had a messenger conversation with a friend who’s reading ‘The Lie I Told About Finn Langley’. So far he doesn’t hate it, so that’s nice. He described is as a thriller. He made me start thinking about how I should write another thriller for that three book deal…

My husband and I played a long game of Terraforming Mars. I smashed him. He doesn’t like the game very much.

Was pretty happy to watch Married at First Sight live tonight. I did some plotting of ‘So, Your Son’s a Serial Killer’. Seems that maybe the next young adult novel is going to have to wait!