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  • Holly Brunnbauer

The Wrap-Up: MAY 2023

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Hello, lovely!

This month, I've been focusing on moving the needle forward.


Because consistent effort adds up. I truly believe this.

Keep reading to find out how I'm doing this.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: May | Holly - Stay-at-home writer


The Sexy Bucket List

My second novel

I've been in the editing cave for the second month of my second draft.

How do I approach the second draft? Usually in the brace position.

The first draft was a hallucinogenic experience where I word vomited onto the page. Gotta love a good purge.

The second draft is about cleaning up the mess.

Because I planned my story to an inch within its life, I'm happy with the plot ... for now.

That means I've been going through scene by scene to fill in -

  • Setting details

  • Character descriptions

  • Sensory language

  • Research

Is it a speedy process? Hell no! I tackle two chapters (approx. 6k words) per week. To be honest, even that's a struggle.

I hope to finish this draft at the end of next month. I have to. I've got beta readers locked and loaded.

New Novel

My third novel

I woke up one day and the idea for my next novel whacked me in the face. Luckily no bruises.

I jotted it down before life admin drowned it out for good.

I'm carving out all of July to plan & plot, but I won't start writing it until November for my first ever Nanowrimo.

So, want to know what it's about?

Here's a nibble -


Goldie's boyfriend breaks up with her at the start of a cruise trip they’re taking with his family. She wants to win him back, but is she fighting for the wrong passenger?

That's my starting point. What do you think?

I can't wait to build a cast of quirky characters and dreamy island stops.

Did someone say tax-deductible research holiday?

If anyone's DTC (down-to-cruise) let me know.


Holly Craig

Holly Craig is an Australian author of gripping thrillers.

On the side, she also helps budding writers improve their craft.

Holly (my name twin), offers mentoring, courses and retreats. Not to mention, co-hosts a hilarious & helpful podcast - Off The Page.

I'm just over halfway through her 6-week course - Writing S*x & Everything Awkward.

Psst ... I used an * instead of an 'e' so Google doesn't think I'm a naughty site.

Every fortnight, we jump on a Zoom with Holly, and she delves deeper into topics that'll help us write a sizzling scene. Always knowledgable. Always fun.

There are also opportunities for feedback.

Let's be honest, writing saucy scenes is daunting. Before this course, I had arms and legs flying all over the place like an intense game of Twister. Now, I'm confident to rein in the moves by adding sensory details and emotional depth.

I've learned a truckload. Thanks, Hol!

Holly usually promotes upcoming courses on Insta. Follow @hollycraigauthor for updates.


Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear ~ ELIZABETH GILBERT

This book has been recommended by A LOT of authors.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction.

I've also never read the author's bestselling novel, Eat Pray Love. Of course, I've heard of it. I don't live under a rock and THE Julia Roberts played the main character in the film adaptation.

So, I gave BIG MAGIC a whirl. After all, it's about cultivating a creative mindset. Who doesn't want that?

If you're looking for a manual on how to have New York Bestseller success, you've come to the wrong place. This book is a discussion piece. There are lots of ideas, contradictions, and plenty of name-dropping.

It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. But ... it's well written and I can see how this would be helpful to writers who are feeling lost or need a pep talk.

In summary - Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. But I did finish it. *Back pats.*



From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you've dreamed of

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.


Guess who's popular in our new town? My eight-year-old.

That damn kid makes friends left, right and centre.

Do you know what that means? I spend most of my weekends at kids' birthday parties.

Don't get me wrong, I love cake.

But he's too young for me to drop and run. I have to stick around for awkward chats with other parents.

As an introvert, doing this too often hurts my soul.

What's my biggest gripe about children's parties? When parents fail to include a finish time on the invite.

Like, c'mon!

Just tell me how long I'll be forced to socialise. I've got things to do, people.


Look at what happens when people recommend books that aren't rom-coms. Watch my reel.


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