Okay, so November was a mix of emotions – some high, some low. It was also the usual mix of work and play, so without further ado, let’s wrap it up…

November in photos…

My photo a day…plus some… for each of the weeks in November.

What I was proud of…

Getting Happy Ever After out into the world. Thanks to everyone who has bought it so far. If you did buy it and did enjoy it, it would help me a lot if you popped a quick review on Amazon – you don’t need to write anything, just the stars would be fine. If you haven’t got a copy yet, this link will take you to your Amazon store and both ebook and print options.

What I wrote…

Not 50,000 words as I’d originally planned. My nanowrimo began at Sydney Airport while I was waiting for a flight home and has ended with just over 42,000 words in my new novel It’s In The Stars. It’s Alice Delaney’s story and the final instalment in my chick-lit series. We first met Alice by a pool in Ubud in Baby, It’s You and this book pretty much kicks off at that point.

blank screen = new book

Where I travelled…

Hubby and I had a weekend in Brisbane doing a lot of walking, some Christmas shopping and much eating of dumplings.

We also had an unscheduled trip to Canberra to attend a funeral. As sad as the occasion was, it allowed us to catch up with old friends and to pay a pre-Christmas visit to my mother-in-law.

What I read…

In no particular order…

My read of the month was definitely The Land Before Avocado

What I listened to…

I’m a bit behind on podcasts at the moment, but Richard Fidler’s “Armistice Day” series on the ABC was absolutely fabulous. So incredibly well-researched and told in the way that only Fidler can.

What I watched…

Mamma Mia 2 and Guernsey Potato Peel Society on DVD.

I also began watching Bodyguard on Netflix, and have been doing some procrastiwatching of old episodes of Lewis.

What’s confused me…

Trying to work out how to make advertising work on Amazon in order to sell more books so I can afford to keep writing. I’m getting a handle on things like keywords and cost per click and impressions, but can’t seem to crack the click-throughs so obviously need to work on my tag-lines and ad copy. See, even the attempted explanation of why I’m confused is confusing!

Some bloggy changes…

I went back to the future and separated my blogs again.

All travel and lifestyle related posts are now all here and writing and books are at Joannetracey.com. I still have some work to do on the author site in order to make it into a showcase for my books, but we’re getting there.

I’ve also been gradually transferring across my France blogs and they have a new home here.

What’s cute…

All the baby scrub turkeys scratching away in the undergrowth. So ugly they’re cute I actually have an admiration at the survival of these chicks who hatch out and have to fend for themselves right from the start.

New to us foodie places…

We had a big foodie month at a few places that were new to us. Normally we eat out twice a week – Friday nights (usually at our local club) and Sunday lunch. The deal is to keep the cost of the main meal below $20-$25. This month because we were away so much the frequency went up…it’s no wonder that I struggle to lose weight!

Aside from a few relatively boring and over-priced hotel meals here are the highlights:

Juan Fifty – a Mexican at Alexandra Headland. I wrote a bit about it for the Sunny Coast blog.

Dutch croquettes for breakfast at the Riverside Markets in Brisbane…

Dumplings at Tang Dynasty in Mooloolaba and New Shanghai in Brisbane

A pot of tea at Sweethearts at Eudlo…also on the Sunny Coast blog

Breakfast at Eumundi Markets…

Green food at Homegrown in Palmwoods…again, it’s also on the Sunny Coast blog

Noodles at Dickson Asian Noodle House in Canberra

The meal that we enjoyed possibly the most though, was last night’s barbecue of steak and salad on the beach. With the summer holidays nearly here, it won’t be long before it’s too crowded holidaymakers.

What I cooked…

Quite a bit as it turns out…

We had friends over for lunch or dinner a few times during the month, giving me an excuse to try out some new salads – like the beetroot salad in the pic below – do crispy crackling pork belly and bake both a chocolate pavlova and a lemon curd pav. I even made my own lemon curd. Unfortunately, the lemon curd pav got eaten before I could get a decent photo. I haven’t posted the recipe for this one yet.

We also experimented with some new noodle salads and Asian style soups. My favourites for the month were this spicy duck broth, the lunchtime noodles that were ready in 10 minutes, and these little apple cucumbers that I ate as snacks.

I also made piccalilli for Christmas. I must remember to put a jar in my suitcase to take down for Mum next weekend…

That was my November…how was yours?

28 Comments on “November – all wrapped up…

  1. What a delicious looking month! Your picalilli looks amaze! Have you got the recipe? And don’t get me started on the crackling on the pork belly. I’m drooling here! I really want to read The Land Before Avcoado – I’ve heard such good things about it!

  2. Hi, Jo – You have had such a full month. I am in complete awe of how much you get done!
    Once again, your post has made me VERY HUNGRY. This time, it was the dumplings that got to me!

    • It never really seems like much until I write it all down! Dumplings always make me hungry. Here’s to a joyful December.

  3. I love your monthly wrap ups Jo and you had another fabulous one although I know there was some sadness in there as well. I’m a fan of Richard Fidler and he has some very interesting guests on the Conversation Hour on radio. I also loved your book as I might have mentioned a couple of times 🙂 I love reading so thanks for sharing what you have been enjoying. We have been watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix – heavy topics but we really enjoyed Seasons 1 & 2 although there have been mixed reactions to the show. Here’s to a fabulous December for you. xx

    • My daughter (20) watched 13 Reasons Why. I couldn’t understand why she would want to, but when she explained it I got it. Here’s to a joyful December for you too…

      • We weren’t sure about watching 13 Reasons Why but I found it to be a quality production which really covered topics that need to be discussed openly. Thank you for sharing with us and supporting our weekly #MLSTL. Have a beautiful week. xx

  4. Wow, we had so much in common this month Jo! I loved Richard Glover’s book too and I watched the Bodyguard and the Guernsey Potato Peel Society movie – I enjoyed them both. Your month sounded very busy but full of interesting bits and pieces with food and places you’ve visited. I’m sorry I can’t help you out with the confusion but I wish you well. #Lifethisweek

    • Thanks Debbie, sadly it seems no one can give me a short-cut through the Amazon algorithm confusion…

  5. Hi Jo – You’ve got so much done in November. I like how you organized your blogs. Your beach and food photos are my favourites. Have a joyful December!

  6. Richard Glover is great – I’ve got to get hold of his new book. The food looks amazing – both what you’ve cooked and eaten out! Good on you for Nano! Even if you don’t get to 50,000, it’s always great to get so many words in. Hope you have a fab December!

  7. I love your posts..and I admit I do drool over some of the food but since I have been trying eating lately. it is much harder than I imagined. Sigh. I guess it will happen over time. Thank you for your consistent support of my Monday link up. I so appreciate it.
    Thank you for linking up this week for #lifethisweek Next week’s optional prompt is the photo-based “Share Your Snaps.” Denyse

  8. Well as usual you have had a fantastic month Jo – I am amazed at the amount you pack into 30 days! Lots of food, more travel, a new book, blog re-vamping, Amazon figuring, and lots more. I feel tired just reading it all! Lovely to catch up on all that you’ve been doing as I sit at the table in our unit at Rottnest after a day of sun and sea and quokkas 🙂
    MLSTL – I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  9. My November was clearly not nearly as busy as yours! How on earth do you fit all that in? I think I’m becoming very good at relaxing though.

  10. Jo, I feel shattered just reading about your month and I am absolutely in awe of how much you’ve achieved and done. Wow, even your reading list is impressive. Isn’t Amazon confusing. I’ve been trying to get click throughs too, but it’s just not converting at all. Good luck – let me know of any breakthroughs as I will you 🙂 x #MLSTL and sharing on SM

    • It’s all so confusing, but I’m persevering and building “lookalike” lists and so on…heavy sighs.

  11. Wow. What a busy month. And may I just say thanks. Thanks for all those pictures of delicious looking food. I’m reading this before breakfast and now I want dumplings.

  12. Wow, Jo, I can’t believe this is just one month’s worth of activities! I’m impressed. I love your photos, and I will check out the new book. Congratulations! #MLSTL

  13. Congrats on getting your book out! I will buy myself a copy after payday! 😉

    I hear you on advertising. For awhile I had a side hustle doing online life coaching. I had been well-trained, and I loved working with clients. However, I did not enjoy the advertising and networking that I needed to do in order to try to bring more people to my site.

    #mlstl

    • It’s one of those contradictions in life that writers tend to be introverts, yet to get know you have to get past that. Thanks so much for dropping by.

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