carla coulson

Carla Coulson – Get Published Workshop

Carla Coulson – Get Published Workshop

Some years ago I took an online journalism course.

I completed the first two assignments and that was it. The rest of the notes are actually sitting beside my bed in the hope that I will find time to read them.

Many of us start something only to have it fall by the wayside, I was one of those people. It cost me not only money but also in confidence, certainty and having family and friends know they could take me at my word.

One thing that did come from that incomplete course was meeting Carla Coulson. For the second assignment I was to go to my favorite book store, find books in the genre I wished to write and take notes….I never got passed ‘ Italian Joy‘ and what a gift this was.

Although I didn’t start writing a book that day, I did start blogging which has given me the confidence to finally begin that long overdue book.

Suddenly I found my passion, writing travel and photography beautifully combined into one. Yes it’s been a slow process much like our goal of moving back to Italy but I am determined to move forward each day with my own personal dreams.

Flying to Sydney last Saturday for the Carla Coulson – Get Published Workshop seemed to bring things full circle. I remember the first time she commented on my blog and it felt like royalty had visited, happy dancing in my pj’s resulted.

I was awestruck at first, but soon found that she is much like the rest of us, only she took a chance and changed her life.


She left a corporate career to chase a dream of becoming a photographer in Florence, went on to write Italian Joy and found love in Italy. She is now a  widely published photographer and author, and fabulous presenter of the Carla Coulson – Get Published Workshop.

Spending an entire day with her in Sydney was priceless, not only learning about the practical hands on side of the publishing world but to hear about the struggles along the way.

Creative Director of Inside Out Sharon Misko was fabulous and gave us a critique of  work selected from the group. Although I didn’t get a chance to chat I came away with a whole new appreciation for the way magazines work and what to look for.

I’ll never pick up another magazine without memories of this day.

An unexpected bonus was meeting Bryce Corbett,  the Associate Editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly and a top bloke.  Funnily enough I recognized him from his wife’s blog…’s a small world this blogging.  Very likeable with a thing for orange walls, funny,  informative and generous with the wealth of  knowledge built up through a career in publishing.

I had a chance to talk with him as he was waiting for a cab and found his insights invaluable, he instantly saw stories within our story for me to explore, sending me in directions I hadn’t even thought about.

I know any dream worth having can come with its own set of obstacles, we seem to have hit all of them along the way but like Carla I won’t ever give up.

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and the gang x










New Years Resolutions – My Top 10

These are my resolutions… to live life to the fullest!

1. See Andrea Bocelli in concert…

You may ask yourself why I chose Andrea Bocelli and this particular song… in 2000 I was pregnant with our first baby…

One night I was flicking through the channels on TV and found a concert in Italy. Immediately I pressed record (we had video back then) so that Sam could watch it when he got home.

All through my pregnancy I had Andrea Bocelli blasting through our home in the hills near Melbourne. The baby would kick and move around to the music and I would sing to this song as I painted the nursery.

On Easter Sunday 2000 our baby decided to make an entrance,  a beautiful 9lb baby boy we called Aaron Joseph. I remember Sam saying “You’re a Mummy” and how wonderful that felt.

Within the hour things changed, Aaron was desperately fighting for life and we waited to be transferred to the Royal Childrens Hospital where there was a chance of survival. He had swallowed Meconium and the staff were unable to suction it all from his tiny lungs.

The ambulance screamed down Lygon Street, Sam was in the back with Aaron and I was in the front praying and pleading and making promises to God that I would do anything just let him be okay.

He died in the Ambulance just before we got to the hospital.

Our Bright Star shining in heaven…

2. Speak Italian like a native

After fifteen years married to an Italian there is really no excuse for not learning Italian! So this is the year for me to learn and also for Carina and Luca to become fluent in both Mum and Dad’s language…

photo ~ Life 123

3. Ride a Vespa…

Not just to ride a Vespa, but to ride it with Style!

photo ~ Carla Coulson

4. Harvest the olives with Louie and his Family

I don’t remember how I found Louie Mele but I am so happy that I did! What I love about blogging and Facebook is that I now have friends all around the world.

Louie is one of those friends, and his open friendly manner had us just click. He and his wife Deborah own a rustic farmhouse in Umbria Il Casale di Mele Rosse and this year I plan to be there to help them harvest the olives.

Can’t Wait!

photo ~ Italian Food Forever

5. Swim in the Blue Grotto (Grotto Azzura)

photo ~ dottorpeni

6. See an Opera in the Arena, Verona

photo ~ arblaster and clarke

7. Meet Annie Hawes – author Extra Virgin

My friend Kate was the one who told me to read “Extra Virgin” and even then it wasn’t till we moved to Italy (and I was desperate for something in English to read) that I begged my Mum to send me a copy.

It turned up for our first Christmas and I loved it! We were snowed in and homesick and I this book got me through. Even Sam (who never reads novels) was hooked and we just cracked up reading bits to each other then saying “Yes that’s just what it’s like here”

I have lent it to most of my friends and it is the one book I chase when it doesn’t come back to me.

Now we are moving to Liguria I plan to visit Diano San Pietro and see if I can meet up with Annie Hawes.

8. Serve a feast like the one in “Under the Tuscan Sun”

Many of you will know of my adventures in the kitchen… I am married to an Italian and I don’t cook! Italy and food are so intertwined, this is what cooking is all about for me…pure passion!

9. Eat Piza in Naples

photo ~ Fordors

10. Celebrate New Years Eve in Australia

Photo ~ e-donegal

What are your New Years Resolutions?

So what are your New Years Resolutions ? Have you made them already? I would really love to hear about any stories  you have of Resolutions made, kept or discarded…

Leave a comment and let’s get talking.