I know, what you are  thinking?  You may ask. It’s not summer? Winter has hit with a vengeance this week!

Some of my author friends are currently preparing for their SUMMER blog Hop, dreaming of sun screen. Kids playing Marco Polo in the pool and family road trips, I on the other hand am preparing for WINTER. That means snow men, bon-fires and cosying up in font of glowing embers at night with a hot cuppa and a good book.

My author friends to the north of us will be sharing their summer moments and inspirations in the C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y – Summer Blog Hop to encourage you towards a great summer, however it is up to me to lead the way for those of us embarking on the depths of winter.. Please have a read and enjoy each of their #Gr8Blogs listed at the end of my post for Summer 2017 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y inspiration.

But for now, let me get you all nice and warm and toasty first off with my completely opposite C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y – Winter Blog Hop 2017 .

I am currently loving my early morning country walks with my dog. The fresh crisp air, frost underfoot and fog hugging the mountains like a cosy blanket. The remains of autumn leaves crunching underfoot while Snowy (my fluffy white Japanese Spitz) splashes in every puddle she can find. The cacophony of galahs, cockatoos, rosellas and magpies that protest their disturbance as we walk through their feeding frenzy. The alpacas and ponies that stop grazing and wander over to the wire fence for a friendly pat and I especially love the sight of kangaroos hopping through the paddocks and gracefully jumping each fence easily and naturally. The windchill factor has our temperature dropping below zero degrees celsius most mornings, but that’s ok, it means we walk faster and burn more energy.
* Reading
 “Love Your Sister” by Connie and Samuel Johnson.
I have been meaning to read this for quite a while. My to read list is always a mile long. Now that winter is setting in, this means ample opportunity to rug up under thick, warm blankets with some great reading.  Connie has been an inspiration to women with breast cancer for years, her battle has been well recorded throughout Australian media as she has striven to raise funds for breast cancer research. Her brother Sam, put his acting career on hold and rode a unicycle around Australia to help raise attention to the need for breast cancer research and breast check/health awareness. This book is their life journey, their struggles and celebrations. Breast cancer has touched the lives of so many families, including my own, yet it was only a week or so ago when Connie and Sam mounted their final fund raising campaign here in Canberra that I finally managed to buy the book and started reading it. Connie’s final wish was to raise $1,000,000.00 in 5c pieces in the shape of a huge heart. Australians really did open their hearts to her as the donations surpassed all expectations and reached over double anyone’s hopes or beliefs. I’m finding the book to be quite moving, as Connie talks you through her courageous experience of surviving cancer not once but several times.  Her outlook on life is truly inspirational to anyone going through the stages of this traumatic disease.
* Watching
Dr Who and loving it! This season would have to be the scariest in a long time. There has to have been a moment in every episode where I have nearly jumped out of my skin. David Tennant is my favourite Doctor, but Peter Capaldi is fantastic this season. The story lines have been creative and intriguing.
I’ve also just watched “Anne with an E” on Netflix. There was only seven episodes in the series so it left me wanting more. The Canadian scenery was spectacular and naturally the story of Anne of Green Gables was portrayed magnificently. If you ever read the book as a child, you will enjoy this series.
 ‘The Crown” was another superb Netflix series. The early life and reign of Queen Elizabeth 2 and her family is fascinating. Winston Churchill is portrayed brilliantly by John Lithgow and Matt Smith has Prince Phillip’s mannerisms perfect. The first season covers events in the Queen’s private and political life from 1947 to 1955. I found the historical accounts quite compelling and am looking forward to next season.
*Listening To
I like to listen to a range of music styles and artists. At the moment I am quite enjoying a lot of Ed Sheerin’s works. He reminds me a lot of my youngest son’s best mate who also plays the guitar and piano. Mike is a rather talented young musician who is a super composer of music scores. He graduated from the Australian Institute of Music and is now completing his honours year at the Australian National University. I am sure he has a bright future ahead of him.
There’s always a bit of the Eagles playing somewhere in the mix and this weekend we are off to a concert by a cover band  titled “The Ultimate Eagles” who I hear play all their hits brilliantly. I am very much looking forward to watching their performance.
I am currently in the process of working on a number of stories. They are all in various stages of completion.
I have two short stories almost ready to submit to an Australian Anthology that will be released for Christmas. As such, I have written both stories with a Christmas theme. The first is suitable for children ages 8-12 yrs and is about a young boy who in helping a stranded pod of whales, he comes to realise the importance of helping others, while the second story is a fun little tale for children aged 3-6 yrs. It uses my alien character from my Bradberrie Brother’s Alien Adventures. It is the aliens first Aussie Christmas and describes all the wonders that he sees and experiences.
I am also working on a middle grade chapter book where the Bradberrie Brothers have a bit of a Bali adventure. It is totally different from the rest of the series as it is for slightly older readers. The third book in the series “Alien Milkshakes” is sitting in the wings waiting for final edits and cover design to be completed.
Not to forget, several other Australian animal picture books I am ready to have illustrated and still working on writing more.
* Thinking About
 I’m always thinking about the never ending list of things to do. Whether it’s on my writing list, reading list, study list (I am always learning more about this writing life), our company paperwork, housework, or helping to do more on the house building. The list never seems to end, but I enjoy it all.
* Anticipating
Moving into our house. This September will be ten years since we first moved onto our property. I am anticipating that by then, our dream might finally be complete. We have worked hard building it and each time we reach a milestone I am thankful and proud of our accomplishments, but I have to admit, I must be a very patient wife to wait this long!
I am also anticipating another good fall of snow this winter. We had one beautiful white day last year, but it doesn’t take long to melt. I always promised my boys a “Snow Day” so that they could have a day off school. It never eventuated. Maybe this year now that they have all moved out of home it just might happen.
* Wishing
The house was already finished and we were moved in.  The shed is pretty comfortable but it’s time we moved into the house.
* Making Me Happy
My family makes me happy. Seeing my boys happy, self-sufficient and successful in their chosen careers. I look at them and know hubby and I have raised three amazing sons that we can be very proud of. I love them, their gorgeous wives and my hubby “to the moon and back.” 🙂
It also makes me really happy when I am asked to refill an order for my books at a gift shop or tourist centre. Knowing my books are selling and people are at home reading them to their children at night fills me with a wonderful warm fuzzy feeling. If a child is smiling because a parent has read one of my books to them, I couldn’t be happier.
* Seeing in My Camera Lens
I love taking photos of the animal silhouettes in our fireball. One of the best parts of this time of year is sitting outside by our fire at sunset with a cheese and crackers plate and a glass of red wine. Neighbours, friends and family gathered all around to chat and laugh by the warmth of the fire.
What are you currently looking forward to this winter or summer? Please drop me a line in the comments below. Now that the cold of winter has set in, I am sure to be inside by the fire waiting eagerly to read.
Now that you have warmed your toes by the fire, be sure to take a peak and see what some of my author friends are up to this summer. Their links are listed below.  (Or will be in the next few days.)
Happy reading 🙂
Ready, Set, Jump into Summer 2017 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y SUMMER BLOG HOP

Sandra Bennett

I write children’s short chapter books and picture books for early and reluctant readers. Boys and girls struggling to learn to read and ESL students. My books are light, humorous and entertaining for the entire family.

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10 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Jump into Summer 2017 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y SUMMER BLOG HOP

  1. Hi Sandra!
    I enjoyed your ” Summer/Winter 2017 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y” blog hop! I’m always reminded how your world is opposite than ours when you share your side of the world. I hope your winter is everything you want it to be and then some.
    I’m excited to hear about your upcoming books! It’s also great news to hear the ones you have written are selling in the shops and the readers are enjoying them.
    Your taste in books, shows, and music, sounds much like my own. Have fun at your upcoming concert!
    Enjoy you winter and thanks again for your fun and interesting blog.

    1. Hi Rosie,
      Thanks so much for joining in the conversation on our blog hop even though you couldn’t do it yourself this time around. You are awesome for always being so engaged and I really appreciate your responses. I’m so pleased you enjoy reading what I have to say. Thanks again. 🙂

  2. Sandra, I feel as if I had a first-hand visit down under after reading your blog. Your cool weather refreshes after a hot, humid southern US summer day.

    Cannot imagine the love and patience that goes into building a beautiful home like yours. All covered with snow, it looks like a picture postcard.

    Kudos for getting your books into national parks and museum stores. That’s an author’s dream come true -:D. And food luck with all those writing projects coming up. You will be busy this winter!

    1. Thanks for reading and replying Cat. Yes, I feel I am a very patient woman, as I sit here typing at my computer desk in the shed I look out of the window at my house and dream of the day we finally move into it! It is a beautiful winter day today, not a cloud in sight, but mighty cold on our walk this morning. It is a long way till we get some of that summer warmth, I’ll be reading all of your blogs to warm me up. 🙂

  3. I loved the way you poetically described your country walks. I feel relaxed just reading about it! While you are hunkering down for winter, we are enduring triple digit weather already here in the California desert. So fun reading about your world on the other side of earth!

    Congratulations on all your success. I love the fun title of your new book, Alien Milkshakes.

    And congrats on your new home! You are indeed a patient woman – happy you are being rewarded for that patience finally. Looks oh so lovely. Thanks for sharing your interesting life with all of us!

    1. Hi Julie, Wow, triple digits already! We had a very long hot summer, I hope you don’t have to endure it too much. I also really enjoy reading all about my author friends lives on the other side of the earth. I love to travel, and reading your blogs is just like doing that sometimes, and it’s so much less expensive than an airfare from Sydney to L.A. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to start telling everyone a little more about Alien Milkshakes in the coming months as I prepare for the release.

  4. Hi Sandra! Saw your sweet Snowy in one of your Facebook post pics-she is adorable and so very fluffy! I walk my doggies in the am too and makes a great start to my day. Love Your Sister sounds like such a great cause and story-I’ll definitely check it out. “working on a number of stories… all in various stages of completion.” sounds so relatable! ME TOO-lol! Your work in progress’ sound so interesting-love the title Alien Milkshakes! You are so patient to wait ten years for your new home! I completely understand the topsy turviness of building a home-good luck and hoping your move is stress free and soon! Have a great winter:)

    1. Hi Tracy, The move shouldn’t prove too difficult (if it ever happens) since the new house sits literally right outside the door of where I currently reside. One good thing about still being in the shed, is less to have to heat to keep warm again this winter. I love keeping busy with all the works in progress, hopefully, like the house, some of them will come to fruition soon too. Thanks for visiting on this cold and windy winter day. Enjoy your summer.

  5. So fun reading about your world on the other side of earth! While you are enjoying my favorite season Winter, we are just getting a taste of Summer. I’m from the Bay Area in California, Summer hasn’t fully hit us yet, we are still able to wear long sleeves but soon we’ll be in the throes of the sunshine.

    I love the fun title of your new book, Alien Milkshakes. I giggled over this and I will have to buy a copy for Levi. Perhaps the author can sign a copy for him?? I

    Thanks for sharing your interesting life down under with all of us!

    1. I would be delighted to sign a copy for Levi, Carmela, hopefully I will have Alien Milkshakes published soon. Thanks for visiting me here on this cold wintery day. It would be wonderful to see the Bay Area, but then there are so many places in America I would love to visit. For now, I will have to be happy with my visits through the eyes of all my fabulous new author friends like yourself. 🙂

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