Thursday, May 8, 2014

Excerpts From My Book The Girl in the Snow

So as you may know, I am part the way through writing a book. Its working title is The Girl in the Snow. It's fictional, but loosely based on my travels as a twenty something through some fabulous ski resorts and exotic destinations of the world.  Carrie, the main character, is probably the girl I wanted to be and in many ways she is like me, but just a little bit naughtier.  We are certainly both risk takers.

 Youth is definitely wasted on the young, because you always think it will last forever, when you are living it.

Here are a few excerpts from the middle of the book. I hope you enjoy the read.

The decision had been made whilst she sat on a chairlift overlooking Lake Louise.  The air was completely still. The whirring of the chairlift cable, hypnotic.  Carrie was 22 years old and deliriously happy, as she was pulled up through the scar in the landscape, amongst the beautiful snow tipped conifers.  She was intently focused on the skiers below.  The only evident sound they made, was the crunch of dry snow under their skis, as they weaved their way down the slopes below her. The atmosphere was beautifully serene and she felt uplifted by nature.  It was then, that it all became clear to her.  In that moment, she made a decision that would change the course of her life.  

She wanted to ski.  To keep skiing. She had no money left after her 3 month holiday in North America, but she had to find a way.  The only white powder she needed, was snow.  It was as addictive as the white stuff she was offered and refused every night in the pub after a day on the slopes and she could not give it up, not now, not ever.

Chairlift rides are so peaceful Val d'Isere France
“I can’t go back Lib.  Back to a shitty desk job.  I am not going to just go through the motions, until I can travel again.  I just can’t live like that” said Carrie, breaking the peaceful silence between them.

“Good for you.” said Libby, who being a performer, knew all about following dreams.

“Remember those mountains in the tarot cards, you had read in New Orleans? The tarot reader said you would meet a much older man and a much younger one, on your travels and the mountains are as good a place as any to do that.” said Libby

Carrie was surprised that Libby had brought the tarot reader guy up, as his reading of her future singing career, had been less than glamorous.  Libby had blown him off at the time and Carrie had reassured her, that it was all crap anyway, but now she had to wonder.  Just what did those snow capped peaks and the Fool in her cards really mean? She had drawn the Fool for a reason, but what was it?  The tarot card reader said it meant she was about to abandon constraints, in search of a self determining freedom.  The Fool was the most powerful Tarot card in the deck and she was privileged to have drawn it, he assured her.  The mountains meant with her free will, she could literally move mountains.  It could also mean a new life or love interest,  who or which, would not be ordinary, by any means.  Carrie felt a pang of excitement and thought  the concept was definitely worth exploring.

On the Balcony in a snow storm Val d'Isere France
Later that night in the bar, nearing the end of what had been a brilliant holiday together, Libby and Carrie toasted their future plans.

“Here’s to you gorgeous girl and your mountin’ adventure.” Libby giggled, raising a eyebrow, as she held her shot glass up and threw it back.

“And to your career on the stage,” echoed Carrie

“Yes, well lets hope they both come true.” said Libby

As Carrie flicked back her head to down the shot, she hoped the tarot card guy had been wrong on Libby’s behalf.  They had been friends since primary school and she loved Libby like a sister.  By contrast, she hoped with all her being that the mountains in her cards had been a sign that she would live there. And more than one man?  It was unusual for Carrie to have more than one on the go, but it did sound interesting.

In Town, St Anton Austria
On a high, Carrie arrived back in Australia, just as the newspapers were beginning to fill with offers of ski season jobs.  She had noticed them at this time, for many years now, because she had wanted to work in a ski resort, since she was a child.  Carrie was definitely a pursuer of dreams. In those early years, she constructed and chased down dreams with a clinical ambition, which could have had her winning Olympic gold, if she had only had the sporting talent to match.

Having completed a university education and some corporate experience, it was a good time in her career to take a gap year and turn the ‘ski dream’ into a reality.  Whilst her contemporaries were attending interviews for internships in international legal and accounting firms, Carrie believed that could wait and scanned the employment section in the newspaper for key words like, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. 

Skiing above the tree line in Val d'Isere France
Although she was a good skier, she had never bothered to qualify as a ski instructor, because the young girls always seemed to get stuck teaching the smallest beginner kids. Carrie could never understand why the women always got the worst jobs in most organisations she had been part of.  In some cases it appeared that role of a female ski instructor was, akin to a day carer on skis.  No way, she thought. I want to work in a ski lodge, preferably at night, so I can ski during the day. She had always been great at maneuvering herself into just the place she wanted to be.

She was young and beautiful, although she didn't really know it and that was part of the attraction.  She did know how to work a room though.  After a week of interviews, talking up her limited waitressing experience, batting eyelashes and occasionally tossing around her joyous giggle , she had two jobs offers to choose from.  She wanted Thredbo, but the staff lived off the mountain and had to travel in early each day.  She had always wanted to live in the resort, so she took the job at Perisher.  Only trouble was, it was for a cocktail bar attendant.  The only drinks she had ever mixed, were gin and tonics from her father’s bar in the lounge room.  They were probably crap too, but her parents were biased.

She remembered Tom Cruise in ‘Cocktail’ and wondered how she would manage, but her dreams were coming true and she had to make this work. No matter, she had time to take a cocktail bar course before the season started.  She signed up and bought a cocktail recipe book to study from cover to cover.  She could cook up an impressive dinner for eight from a recipe book, so how hard could mixing a cocktail be?....................

The front of the Krazy Kangaruh, where I worked  in St Anton Austria, after a snow storm 
And did you know I was in Perth for the Americas Cup?  Carrie appears to have gone there too.

The thrill of the atmosphere created by an international sporting event, had always been intoxicating to Carrie.  One has to have been in Perth at the time, to understand it, but in the crazy days of the 80’s ‘greed is good’ boom, the place was a mecca for wannabes, has beens and and every other personality type in between.

Kerry Packer was declaring, that "You only get one Alan Bond, in your lifetime."  It was common place for people to secure high rise property deals, on the back of an envelope, over a boozy lunch.  The flow of credit seemed endless and people were throwing elaborately lavish parties, with million dollar price tags to match.  In those early days just after she arrived in Perth, it also seemed to Carrie that everyone but her, was sleeping with someone else. 

The stock market crash of 1987 was still a year away and Perth Western Australia, was the next big thing.   An arena of excess, if  ever there was one.  So to Carrie, it had seemed like as exotic a destination as any, to learn how to make good love.

Lunching in Lech with Ingrid, a fabulous Aussie girl , with whom I worked
So there you have it dear reader, some small insights into the book.

How do I know it's fiction?  Well because Carrie has way more sex than I ever did, that's for sure.  Of course you'll have to buy the book to read about that.

Hope your week is running smoothly.  I will be writing.

Today I am linked up here
Feathered Nest Friday
With Some Grace
Show and Tell Friday
Say G'day Saturday
Sunday Showcase
Monday Funday
Metamorphosis Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Take a Look Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Flash Back Friday


  1. Good on you for writing a book! I love it. It's a great read. And I just love the images - certainly makes me want to pull up stumps and head to the snow. I hope the writing is going well this week xx

  2. Carrie..mmmm I would change her name. Too much like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. I have never met anyone in Australia called Carrie. Needs to be a more sophisticated name I feel...keep tapping Carolyn. :-)

    1. Marie you may be right. I never watched it, so it didn't occur to me. Called her Carrie to start with because it is short for Carolyn. She is not me but that's just how she got her name.

  3. In the mid-80s, I worked in the same (small) Melbourne office building as John Bertrand (skipper of Australia II). I would often share an elevator ride with him. :)

  4. What a fabulous story. Keep writing. How funny I was in Freeo for the Amercias cup too x

  5. Oh good Carolyn, great to see you getting the words down on paper, always the hardest part and then boldly sending it out into the world. How brave to write sex scenes, and yes I'd buy the book to check them out. I do agree that Carrie isn't the best name... so now am pondering. I've nevr written fiction but will chuck in my two cents worth regardless, from my factual books experience... the most important thing is to get a full first draft done. In itself it's a massive achievement which puts you miles ahead of most people who'd love to write a book but don't DO it. Then ... next draft!

  6. PS I love the photos of you in the snow - more please!

  7. Well done you and look at you the effervescent snow Bunny! Happy Mothers Day to you this weekend Carolyn x

  8. Wonderful Carolyn. I look forward to reading it one day. Love your photos. What a wonderful time and adventures you've had. I hope we meet one day soon kindred spirit!

  9. Oooh, juicy! Love it and I reckon I'll be living vicariously through Carrie's life too! As a snowboarder, I used look for powder heaven when living in Japan.

  10. Carolyn, how very exciting!! Those photos of you are gorgeous x

  11. These are such great shots! So happy and chilly and snowy! xx


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