Monday, April 14, 2014

Now For Something Completely Different...

I love it when I find something funny; and I mean laugh out loud funny.  Today I was looking around on Bookcrossing, found just that; and thought this would perk up your Monday morning.

Books With Librarians In Mind 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Reading

It's the middle of the school holidays here in Australia, and I've picked up a copy of 'Make Lemonade' by Virginia Wolfe.  It's a great book so far; and I'm up to part two - well, the beginning of it anyway.  

I've been looking through my collection for some books to zip through lately; and have figured out why I haven't been reading as much as I normally do.  It's my eyes.  I've been doing a lot of close-up work with my hobby business, and it's been making my eyes so tired that I don't want to open a book when I go to bed; I just want to turn out the light and rest my eyes in the dark. 
So, this past week, I went off to the optometrist and he agreed that I needed glasses to help me with focusing on close-up work as he had a look at the detailing work I did on Facebook and said it was a little wonder I didn't come in to him before.

Well, my glasses are going to be ready this week sometime; and hopefully, I'll have better luck with reading when I get myself into working on my stuff better with the new specs... and then reading more books this year - as two or three is just disgusting in my view.

However, with the smaller books I'm grabbing off the shelves and reading, I thought to make a good start on reading something at least until I get my new glasses this week.  
So, what are you reading this Easter?  Have you been either collecting or reading your books lately?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Australia Loses Another Great Writer

Today, I found out that Australia - and the world - has lost another great writer.  However, because I respect her so much and she is Aboriginal (and due to her customs and culture) I won't mention her name.  This writer wrote 'Follow The Rabbit Proof Fence', a story about her mother's survival of a 2000km trek through the Australian desert after escaping from a re-education camp for mix-race children.  This book, and the film it was later turned into, brought into light exactly what our government did to the stolen generation; and how much it affected them and their familes.

I haven't read the book, but I did watch the film; and I was totally shocked at what happened.  There are things in my country's history that I know are horrible, but this has got to be the worse thing that's been documented; and I do hope my government doesn't think of doing this ever again to a race of people who have been here since before the White Man came to its shores.

This wonderful author will be missed.  She passed away on Thursday surrounded by family after she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in September in Perth.  
She is survived by 4 children, 31 grandchildren and 80 great-grandchildren.  Her family had taken her out to Pilbara three weeks ago to say farewell to her ancestral home, as it was her last wish to see the countryside one last time. 

Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence Author Passes Away 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Adrian Mole Loses Sue Townsend

The world has lost another great author too soon.  Sue Townsend, the author of the Adrian Mole 13 3/4 series of books, has sadly passed away aged 68 at her home.

This author has been in my life for as long as I can remember, as I read the first book of the Adrian Mole 13 3/4 series in my early teenaged years about four times; and still found the affair with his lover Pandora Braithwaite adorable.  Even to this day, I have still tracked down the rest of the series over the years and read them; and found them wonderful.

However, I have never forgotten Sue Townsend; and have wondered often how she was doing, and if she was writing another series much like the Adrian Mole series for the new generation of kids out there.
And today, I find that she has passed away at such a young age (well, to our generation anyway).  She hadn't been well, and her health had declined from what I've read.  So, what have you read of Sue Townsend's that has amused you over the years?  Was 'Adrian Mole' the first funny series you read, or was it something you discovered later on in life?  Until my next post, happy reading.

And here's a link to a news article about her from the BBC:

Sue Townsend Remembered 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

'Fresh From Italy' by Stephano Manfredi

Isn't it amazing what you find when you're not looking for it.  I was out shopping yesterday at my local Life Line charity store when I stumbled upon an italian cookbook.  This wasn't just an ordinary, run of the mill Italian cookbook, it was one by Stephano Manfredi - a world-wide known chef.

At the time, I didn't know who he was.  So, when I uploaded the photos of the book to show it off to you guys today, I thought to Google him to see if he's got a website we could suss out together.  And I've found out he's got three big restaurants, has put out a collection of books and has a blog (which has a collection of delicous and delectible recipes with photos and why he's using particular ingredients in his recipes - and why we should be using only the best ingredients in our food and recipes too).

Now, this is a great chef who can teach us how to cook great food for our families, letting us in on the how and why of the food we're eating.  This is a good thing.  There's so much out there in the food world to teach us to be scared of the food we're currently eating, that it's about time we had a chef - an author - who was telling us how we can change the way we cook, the way we eat and how our kitchens can become, yet again, the hearts of homes just like they used to be in our Grandmother's days, instead of the places where you throw something into the microwave to heat up.  

'Fresh From Italy' by Stephano Manfredi is a book which is written for Australian kitchens for Australian people to help us understand exactly how to cook Italian food for anyone in our families.  I love how it's set out.  I love how he's shown me what I need in my kitchen, how the contents cover the seasons instead of just the dishes and I love most of all, how easy it is to read.  It's as though I've got a friend showing me how to cook a meal instead of a teacher telling me how to cook... and that's a big difference.

Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Guidelines to Writing - According to Stephen King

Stephen King is one of my favourite writers.  I've been reading his stuff since I was 16 when I first picked up 'Christine' and his words scared me so badly I couldn't turn out the light for around 2 months.

Thanks Steve... really, thanks.  

Great writers can make you do anything from what happened to me when I was 16, to making sure all the wardrobe doors are closed.  And yes, that happened to me when I was around 35 years old and I read 'Night Shift' and I came across 'The Boogeyman'.  Soon after I read that story, I had a boyfriend stay over and he laughed at me for wanting my wardrobe door closed completely, then I got him to read that story.  The moment he finished it, he got up and made sure all the doors around the house were closed - not just the doors in the room we were in!  Then, he wouldn't let me turn out the bedside lamp... 

So, sometimes, it gets us all thinking how a great writer like Stephen King writes great works like he does - and still keeps coming up with new work all the time.  Well, there's a list that's been running around of the 20 guidlines he lives by as a writer.  And the link is here for you all to look at.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Book Buys!

I've been pretty good on the book front this month; actually, I only bought what I wanted and needed to buy and that was it, and did my purchases towards the end of the month.

So, here goes!

I was at my craft group and found some of the ladies were giving away books.  So, I looked through the titles and found 'I Wish I Had A Red Dress' by Pearl Cleage was there, and I picked it up to bring home.  Then, a week later, I found 'The Hunt' by Andrew Fukuda was at my craft group - and I bought that for a dollar - and brought that home too.

Then, I found myself at the end of my Fry Nelson book trilogy and found ideas for another book.  And seeing I knew nothing about my subject matter I wanted to write about - which was Angels - I had some serious research to do.  So, I popped off to the library and looked into some books.  After borrowing some books, I then drove to The Really Good Book Shop and found 'Archangels 101' by Doreen Virtue.  There's another book I'm searching for, but I'll wait until next pay to get it at QBD.  This other book names all the angels I'm hoping to read about for my next piece of work.

And then, yesterday, I scored two more books.  One was called 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' by Deborah Maggoch.  It's been made into a movie, which I've never seen, but I knew it was based on a book... which I love to read first; as many of you know.  So, I finally got my hands onto a copy of the book.  There was another book called 'Wild Lavendar' but I've forgotten the author... as I gave it to Mum.  It's a war-time book and she loves those kinds of books.  

So, what kinds of books have you scored this month?  Good and cheap books - like me?  Or were you good and didn't buy any and worked out of your library, like I should have?  Silly me, and my want for books... but if we didn't have passions, we wouldn't have collections of things, would we? Until my next post, happy reading.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Angelic Research

With my 'Fry Nelson' trilogy coming to an end, I've had some great ideas for a new book to be written.  However, this means I have to get in and do some research into my new subject.

My new idea has to do with Angels... which I know absolutely zero about.  Well, okay, I believe they exist and I've had some really strange experiences where what I've seen can only be put down either me being out of my mind or I actually did see an Angel standing at the end of my hospital bed in Melbourne (and this was when I was undergoing tests to have an operation done).  Anyway, after that, I found out that a lot of people believe in Angels, but they don't necessary believe in God and don't go to church and aren't Christians or Catholics - or aren't part of a any kind of organised religion.

So, this has helped me in my research.

Today, I went out on one of the most miserable days here in Brisbane and did some research at the Logan North Library about God, religion and Angels.  I borrowed three books and then drove to Browns Plains to 'The Really Good Bookshop' where I found a wonderful book 'Archangels 101' by Doreen Virtue.  I'm hoping to find another book at another bookstore - one I borrowed from the library - to help me with my research so I can own these books.  However, I think I might have to order this book in; if it's not out of print.

With only a chapter or two to go until I've finished the last few scenes of 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter - book 3', I'm already brainstorming ideas of what's going into the book about Angels... just a few opening scenes for now, but it's going well so far.  

So, are you working on any new projects?  If so, let us know what you're all doing?  Are you researching something new?  Are you looking for books or source material you don't have in your own library?  Or are you editing work you've finished last year for publication?  Let us know about what you're all doing with your written work - after all we can love reading, but writing can be something of a joy too.  Until my next post, happy reading.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last Two Chapters ... then? Um... Angels

Yep!  I'm up to the last two chapters of my 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter trilogy.  These books have been around 6 years in the making - that's a lot of time out of my life to be writing something.  

But I love it.

I currently have somebody reading over my first book, and she's told me that for a book that hasn't been edited yet, it's got a great plot.  Besides the usual pace problems and sentence structure problems, I'm pleased to know she loves the plot... at least I have something here that people haven't seen before.

However, I am planning what to write next; as you do when you're finishing up a book.  I'm hoping to write about Angels.  I know that sounds really, really strange, but I want to write about them.  It will involve a lot of research about them, buying second-hand books on them and watching a heck of a lot of 'Supernatural' and other sci-fi television shows and movies.  I'm not sure what the book will be about just yet, but I don't want to write a book that everyone else has read... so it's going to be a book that's different to everything I've read and written, that's for sure!

Otherwise, I'm still collecting books.  I'm still reading some great Stephen King.  I'm still enjoying attending my Logan Romance Writer's Group and it's all helping me get my writing looked at, fixed up and worked on.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Matthew Reilly and The Bottom Line of Self-Publishing

I stumbled upon an interview with Matthew Reilly.  He talks about where he started from, how he published his first book and how we can do it too.

Matthew Reilly Interview on The Bottom Line 

Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Been Writing... Been Editing....

I'm writing again.


Yep, I love writing as much as I love reading.  It's a pure and unadulterated joy to take part in passing on the imagery to you readers.  

However, it's hard work and takes up a huge chunk of my time.  Often, I work through the night and I'm tanked and zombied the next day, living on caffiene to survive the daylight hours - then I go and do it all again!  It's a joy to create what you love to read, honestly it is, and it's torture to give up the ink and pens... I have tried to take a holiday from it and failed.

I did stop writing a few years ago - once - and I had the worse week of my life.

I didn't sleep.

I ate all the wrong foods.

My started having conversations with the characters I had created and that was a 24/7 kinda deal... it drove me nuts.

...and oh yeah, I was a zombie all day and night because I lost so much sleep.

So, one night, at around 1am, I turned on the computer, opened a document and just began writing.  I wrote all the ideas I had running around in my head.  And around two hours later, they were on the screen, I saved them to a thumb drive and didn't bother looking at how much I had written, and I turned off the computer and went back to bed and crashed.

The next day, I woke to my alarm - as always - ate breakfast, did my laundry and usual chores around the place and then it was time to turn on the computer... I had typed up around 10 pages of what was running around my head.  Woah!  

A week of not writing had done that to my brain?  So, I promised myself to keep up my writing - no matter how little or tiny the changes were - as it would bother me until the next day.  And I have.

Editing what I write a few days after I write it is a habit I've gotten into as I see it with fresh eyes and it's easier for me to see the problems, the mistakes, the spelling errors and anything else I've mucked up, no matter how small.  And being the perfectionist that I am - well most of the time - I make sure that it's all good and ready for everyone to read.  

So, what kind of techniques to you do to keep your writing skills up-to-date?  Have you tried to take a holiday from the craft - like I did? Were you successful?  Or did you fall flat on your face?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Writer's Block Feels Like

It's been such a long time since I've written anything worthwhile.  Sure I've tried and there's been no flow, no great feeling that it's going to work... there's no there, there... you know what I mean?

I hope so.

I've been a writer for so long, that I've hate it when I hit a block in my creativeness in my writing world.  I causes me to stop sleeping, I find myself watching hours of horror movies to get ideas, no book I pick up to read is good enough so I give up on reading too.  I basically die a little inside and become depressed to a point where each day seems to bleed into the next... it all seems as though I'm doing the same shit, different day.

Sounds really depressing and horrible doesn't it?

And I won't lie to you, it is.

But I often just get in and do some housework, do a huge pile of laundry, re-arrange my garden (I have a container garden, so it's easy for me) and then, I get into my art, listen to music for hours on end and keep my hands busy as much as I can and work on Facebook and write flash fiction on Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' site until my mojo comes back... and not that it sucks, but I'd rather be working on my stuff that I created from my imagination than prompts that I'm getting from another person.

No offence Chuck.  I appreciate your prompts - they're cool.. they keep me on the wagon of writing.  But really, I want to write my own stuff, my own characters I created again.

And over the last three days, I've gone and done that.  I plugged in the thumb drive the other afternoon while I sipped on a home made ice coffee with my cordless phone by my side and looked at the last chapter - just quickly scanned it really - and then, I rested my hands on the keyboard ... and I began writing the next part of Fry Nelson!



I didn't stop!

I'm only about four chapters or so off finishing my Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter trilogy.  And I'm damned well stoked!  It's my first lot of books I've actually stuck with and finished... other books are half-finished and I haven't gone back and even attempted to complete any of them.  And once this is completed?  Well, there will be another year of me re-reading it all and editing before I give the three books to other people to read.  Until my next post, happy reading.