Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spring Reads

I've been busy with other things in my world... writing, editing... being a retailer at markets around Brisbane... but I've picked up a book and began reading - finally! - and I'm enjoying the love of reading again.

I'm reading an e-book called 'Body Rentals' by Mark Gardner.  He's a writer I know from the Terrible Minds blog by Chuck Wendig, and we often read each other's shorter works each week... then he came across a flash fiction I wrote which reminded him of some of his own works and he recommended I had a look at his short novel showing me links to it.  However, no matter what I did, I couldn't get into it, or the place wouldn't recognise either Mark's name or my payment method.  I let Mark know, and he passed me on a copy.  Well!  I'm into the third chapter and it's creepy!  I love it and found he's written a great book!  I can't wait to get in and finish reading it to let you all in on what I think of it.

Then, I'm only a chapter and a half away from finishing 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter - Book 3'!  I'm so happy about this, but I'm still cautious about how to get the characters where I want them... the location of where the last scene might be changing, but what happens in the end won't.

And then, I'm really getting into some big action in 'Angel Love'.  It's going into a direction I never thought it would.  This book was inspired by the hit show, 'Supernatural', but I left out the two hot guys and the sweet set of wheels.  This is purely about the Angels, Demons, vessels and some poor humans who get squished in the middle of it all.  Sure it took some research and me needing to buy some books and using some of my pagan books, but it was well worth it.  I'm up to chapter 8 and it's looking great!

So, what are you working on - or reading - at the moment that's holding your undivided attention?  Which book is it?  Is it a classic or a new release?  Do you know the author as a friend or are they new to your life, or is the author such a regular to your reading list they feel like an old friend?  I'd love to know.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, September 15, 2014

'The Legend of the Bluebonnet' and old tale of Texas retold & Illustrated by Tomie DePaola

She-Who-Is-Alone has watched her tribe and the dancers from afar each day of a very bad drought.  This drought has affected the very old and the very young alike, and rain hasn't visited their lands for a long, long time.  But She-Who-Is-Alone still watches with her doll made from buckskin - a warrior doll.  His eyes, nose and mouth are painted on with the juice of berries.  It wore beaded leggings and a belt of polished bone and on its head were brilliant blue feathers from a bird who cries "Jay-jay-jay." She loves her doll very much.

But no matter how long her tribe dance and pray for rain for the crops to grow, it doesn't arrive; and the drought goes on.

So, people of her tribe began to make sacrifices, personal ones.  A hunter threw into the fire his bow, claiming he didn't need a new bow, that his old one was good enough to use.  A woman said she didn't need her special blanket either.  People gave their most valued possessions to bring the rains, and still nothing happened.  All except She-Who-Is-Alone gave, because her only valued possession was her warrior doll, which she held tightly to her heart.  However, would what this little girl have to offer - her only possession in the world - make a difference to her tribe and their lives?

This wonderful book about how the Bluebonnet flower was named in Texas is just charming.  I love it.  My Mum was sent it by a friend in the USA and I read it the other day.  What a great and colourful way of educating people and children about not only history but the dreamtime of American History.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Write A Funny Blurb

Okay... time to have some fun!  And it'd be great to see what you guys can do with this too.

I was looking at the Romance Bandits posts today and found they had a fun way to write blurb of a childrens' book... and here it is:

1] and the Magic [2] is the tale of a little girl who travels on a [3] carpet to the mystical land of [4], where she will encounter a friendly [5] [6] in a forest of giant [7] and try to avoid falling into the quarry of everlasting [8]. Using the powers of the magic [2] to help her, can she defeat the wicked wizard of [9], save the people of [10] Valley and be home in time for tea?

Quick 10 questions:
[1] Your first name
[2] Object to your right
[3] Colour of carpet or rug in your room
[4] Town you were born
[5] Favourite colour
[6] Favourite animal/bird
[7] Favourite flower
[8] Favourite dessert
[9] Your surname spelled backwards
[10] Favourite snack food

Now, my blurb is:

Mozette and the Magic Pencilcase is the tale of a little girl who travels on a beige carpet to the mystical land of Brisbane, where she will encounter a friendly purple Budgie in a forest of giant Gloxinias and try to avoid falling into the quarry of everlasting Rocky Road. Using the powers of the magic Pencilcase to help her, can she defeat the wicked wizard of Rekrap, save the people of Cashew Valley and be home in time for tea?

Well, have a go, and see how you go.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Those Dirty Little Words

The English language is a weird old thing.  It's been around for centuries and yet its roots are from all over the world, including Latin, Gaelic, Greek and other languages from hundreds of years ago.

Most of the words we've used in our lives are from all types of language and we don't even realise it.  However, we have also used words that used to known as 'dirty words' which have morphed into ordinary words for us to use in everyday life.  Here's the link to the article as to which words they are - and you'll be pleasantly surprised about them... or maybe a little shocked too.

Dirty Words From Our Past

And I thought I knew some words... well, I suppose, I also learned a few new ones too.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Book Buys!

Last month, I bought a couple of books, but I didn't keep track of when I bought them.  That's strange of me, but then, I have been very busy with new work and new stock with my hobby business.  And I've also been away from the house at my brother's house too.

So, here are the two books I purchased while I was all around the place:

There was 'Robin Williams' by Andy Dougan.  This is a biography written about this great man in 1998.  I bought it for $10.00 at The Really Good Book Shop at Browns Plains soon after Robin's passing.  I wanted to read about him.  And seeing I have only one movie about the man, I'm going to build a collection of his movies too.

Then, there was a hot and heavy romance book 'Blush' by Opal Carew.  I haven't read this author before, but from the reviews, the stories are wonderfully, well, hot!  With a hot pink cover of two people intertwined with each other, I'm sure I'm in for a real treat!  

Well, that's all there was in the month of August for book-buying.  How was your month in this way?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Scorpions... ?

I was looking around the internet and reading on Bookcrossing over the last few days to see what would be interesting and fun to put up here to lead us all into the weekend... and I found a strange - yet true - article on Book Scorpions.

Yep, they are really tiny critters who have a taste for books and book mites and silverfish... they do us a service and yet don't attack us.  

For more information, here's the link:

Book Scorpions

Well, happy reading... and be careful of those little guys!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

One Thousand Words or More...

Photographs are amazing things.  And when you have the right one, you see so many things in them.  I have a collection of photographs in albums and online which could speak a thousand words just through how you view them.

There's one famous photograph taken in 1937 which has been so controversial that it's been taken so many different way for all the wrong reasons.  

The article attached is a long read, but it's worthwhile to find out what the photo was really about.

That Photograph

Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Writing Through the Bad Stuff

Writers are known to be a tortured lot.  And I'm no exception.  I've got Epilepsy, had a life-threatening Melanoma, had a really bad, abusive relationship which I got out of and then I spent 15 years working on figuring myself out and trying to make my way back to getting back into my happy state of mind.

This made me a work in progress... and like anyone who's had their life turned around on them, through no fault of their own, this takes a lot of time.  This takes a lot of 'me' time.

It wasn't a lot of fun, but working on my own life has been great.  I have learned a lot about myself, my limits and how I improved myself through knowing what I wanted when I wanted it.

And now I'm at my happiest, I'm going to write about the worse part of my life.  Over the last few years I've tried to write about it, and failed each time.  However, I've bought a notebook, sat down and let myself just write down exactly what happened during those 9 months when my life was turned around on me.

I nearly lost everything in just under a year - my possessions, my integrity, identity, myself - everything was slowly being eaten away by an abusive man who thought it was his duty to make me submissive when I wasn't the submissive type.  Now I'm stronger in my self, my mind and in every other aspect of my life, I know I can write the story about my life then without it destroying me.  Besides, if I don't, it'll be there waiting for me in another 15 years for me to write it.

Writing through, and about, the bad shit in your life is almost a type of therapy.  It gets the crap that was once in your life out of the way, and makes you a better person.  It helps you realise that, yes, you made mistakes, things happened to you, but the past is there to show what you did that have turned into life lessons for you.
And this is how I view my past:  if I made mistakes in my past, they are lessons to show myself what not to do now.  However, if I make those mistakes again, it's because I've made them as choices instead.  So, when I see this happening, I have stopped myself before saying or doing anything that might end up being a mistake - again.  

So, what have you been working on lately where you've learned to let go of your past and allowed your future to evolve?  Mine isn't a great past, but I'm letting it go... after all, what can I do about it?  Not much.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Change of Scenery: As Good As A Holiday

I'm back from Brighton and full of beans - and ideas - for my writing.  It's been a great weekend to just sit and read, or write as it's been pouring rain since late Thursday night.  That rain didn't stop until late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning... but it was great to see so much of it over so little time. 

I got a lot of writing done, though.  I wrote a chapter and half of 'Angel Love' - where the story is becoming more intense.  The Angels are really shitting each other off.  Drake - the demon - isn't getting far with anything he does; but he's trying.  And the only human who is left out of anything is beginning his life again in another city - oh, yay, how much fun is that?

Then, there's the last 3 chapters of 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter - Book 3' that I've been working on slowly since last year.  I know what my characters are going to be doing, where they'll be ending up and exactly how the book is going to end... I just have to get all my ducks in a row and make sure they do what I want - no, need - them to do.  It's a matter of timing really.  But!  Will there be another book?  Who's to say?  

Yeah, I've had a good time writing while it's been cold, raining and I've been drinking a lot of hot chocolate and home made pizzas being made at my brother's house.  Anyway, that's what I've been up to as a writer, what have you guys been doing if you're a writer?  Anything great?  Anything to shout from the mountaintops?  Or are you suffering for your craft?  Until my next post, happy reading - or writing.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Book Shack ... A Great Place for More Than Just Books!

I'm here in Brighton house-sitting for my brother and his girlfriend again; and this time, I'm minding Jay 'the Wonderdog!' too!  She's curled up by the front door looking at me as I type this... and I'm very tired from walking around Sandgate Shopping Common.  Why I am is a heck of story, but I'll keep it short and sweet too.

I started out looking for two things today:  a vintage suitcase and 'The Book Shack' bookstore.  I found both, but not until the end of the day.  I drove my car into Sandgate and parked it under Woolworths and walked around the place to all the vintage places around in search of 'The Book Shack'; but nobody had ever heard of it.  They knew there was a second-hand bookstore around the place, but didn't quite know exactly where it was as they didn't live in the area.

However, once I did find it - almost 1 1/2 hours after I parked the car - I told the owner how long it took me to find her little store; and she was amazed!  She said she had been in the same spot for 5 years and nobody could tell me where she was?  Well, jeez, that's bad!  I bought a cute little book to record what you read, after looking around her lovely store.  It has bags, hand-made bookmarks (of all materials; from woven ones to ones made from brass to others made from silver and nickel).  There were book bags which were made from coffee sacks and lined with old tablecloth material and handbags too... so well-made!  But I couldn't afford them!  Oh well, next time!  However, the next time I'm here, I'll be travelling to the Book Shack at another location.  It'll be off Rainbow Street - up past the fish'n'chip store and in owner's house... not a bad location, seeing how much she loves books.  But she did tell me it was a business decision that she will only be open 4 days a week and will still be online too.

After that, I was still searching for the vintage suitcase, and I walked into two shops that looked like they might sell them; but they didn't.  The last one showed me directions on a map of an antiques store at Deagan where I found the perfect suitcase at this great antiques store... it cost only $12 too!  Very cool and I spent half my day out!  

Once back at home, I took Jay for a walk - where she met a very eager Staffie (only 8 months old this youngster of pup who wanted to jump all over Jay) and poor Jay wasn't really into playing rough.  Well, the chickens laid 2 eggs and they're currently running around the garden until the sun goes down.  I have a few things to look for around Brighton - book-wise - and so watch this space, I'm going to do a few giveaways while I'm here.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Busy Saturday Morning

Yesterday, I had a busy morning - very busy - and I hadn't even reached my destination of the Hyperdome Library.  

I had to moderate the Sci-Fi Spec. Fiction Group... yep, I was asked to run this group for this month because our usual moderator was out with a bad back - and so was her husband!  So, they asked me last week to take over for them.  This is something I hadn't done in over 20 years, but I thought it would be fun!

And it was!

So, yesterday morning, I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30am, got myself ready, threw together coffee, tea, milo, sugar, a collection of mugs and milk into the blue esky/cooler and grabbed my tablet and was out the door by 9am.  I had to buy some nibblies on the way through to the library... but just before reaching the place it hit me!  I had forgotten napkins and spoons!  So, fortunately, I remembered where a very old, long-time convenience store was and I dropped in there, bought what I needed and kept on going. 

I arrived at the Hyperdome Library 20 minutes ahead of schedule... thankfully... and set up the room, organised the hot water urn and waited for everyone to arrive by 10am.  

Well, Renee, Graham and Andrew were all on time; and we all grabbed a coffee, sat down and chatted for a little bit.  I told them that I was moderating the meeting this time around and we got into talking about our homework:  to describe our main characters in 30 seconds.  This was going to be impossible - time wise - so I let them all talk for around 5 - 10 minutes each and they felt more relaxed to tell us about their characters physically and otherwise.  This was great!  
Then, we got a new member wander in and take a seat - she was about 45 minutes late, but that didn't matter.  Her name was Miriam, and she told us about what her book was about and her main character as well; then she grabbed a coffee while I chatted about Fry Nelson and my upcoming bits about him... which got everyone wanting to read more about him.

After we finished our homework and talking about our works, it was 11:30am... we had half an hour to kill before our time with the room was up.  So, we talked about other authors, their works, how they lived, died and what we thought of them personally and some secrets some of knew about certain authors (if we were big enough fans to find out about these secrets) and then, the next thing we knew, it was midday.  It was time to go!  I packed up all the food, coffee and things into the milk crate I had brought in with me.  Graham took the urn out to the front desk and we all left the room the way we found it - tidy - until the next time we're here.

This is what one of our meetings is like.  I took the minutes and wrote them out on my tablet while everyone talked... that was some fast typing I did on that thing!  And we all had fun chatting.  Nothing like a great meeting talking about the very things we enjoy:  writing, reading, books and authors!  So, if you're a writer, do you attend a writer's group?  If so, is your group like this one?  Or is it more intense?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hey! That's What a Book Looks Like!

Man!  I've been so busy with other things - besides reading - lately, I've gone to bed, looked at the Jasper Fforde book by my bed and just sighed; wishing I had the energy to pick it up for just ten minutes to read a little of it.

But I haven't had that energy.

I've been working hard on my Crafty Pegs stall to bring out new products.  And if you guys have this kind of small hobby business in your life, you know what it's like to have to get out something new with it.  There's a lot of running around, looking at things, items, pricing, working at making it look good and then... there's the display!  Boy, the display has to look good and enticing enough for people to want to buy the new product.  

So, I've gotten a lot of the new products worked on, varnished, wrapped up and now?  I'm just working on other bits to bulk it up a little... to give people variety on colours, styles and whatnot.  I'm happy with the colours, the way things are going and I'm also looking forward to getting in and buying what I need for the display too (which is next week! Yay!).

And you know?  Just last night, I went to bed, looked at my Jasper Fforde book and thought: 'Why not! I have a little bit of energy still left to read some of this!' And I read two chapters and turned out the light after midnight!  I'm looking forward to reading more of it again tonight and getting through another few chapters.  Actually, the sun looks very inviting... might go outside before it cools off too much and do some reading again.  Yeah... that sounds good!

So, have you had times where you haven't had time to read, like I have lately?  I have wanted to get in and read like crazy, but being a little time-poor isn't great... but then, you find that tiny window of opportunity and just jump in and open your favourite book and put on your glasses to read a few pages... oh!  It's like sitting down and saying hi to an old friend, isn't it?  Until my next post, happy reading!