Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Books and Old

It's a New Year and a new decade, and there's so much going on in my life right now. However, that doesn't mean I'm not going to get in and read.

Last year, was dreadful for me - as was the year before. But I've been reading a couple of books over Christmas and it's been good for me to slow down and get into them. 

How about you? What books have you been getting your nose into lately? Or have you been hanging out with family and friends more? If you've been doing the latter, hey that's cool too. 

Well, until we all return back to the normal stations in our lives, I thought to tune into here and let you know what I'm currently reading:

'The Institute' by Stephen King
'The Secrets of the Monarch' by Allison Dubois. 

The second one is explaining a lot about my grief I've been working through during the past two years. And so, it's been good for me to read it. Well until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Reading

Okay... it's a little before that crazy, weird time of year where we just simply won't have time to ourselves. We'll be out and about visiting family (or will we?) and we're blowing out the credit cards just to keep our kids and family happy.

But when the days come to an end, we all settle down into bed and pull out the reading glasses to read before the lights go out, and I'd love to know what you all get your noses into at this time of year.

Do you read a little bit of horror from Stephen King and Peter Straub. Or do you get into some Polly Evans? Or are you into Janet Evanovich and her witty, sassy look at crime-solving?

Right now, I'm reading two books - yeah, I love a challenge. I'm reading 'The Institute' by Stephen King. I bought this one at Target 'Country' for $16.00 at Ocean Shores, Northern New South Wales while I was on holidays there. At first, I was going to wrap it up and put it under my tree as a pressie for myself... but then, I began to read it, and just couldn't put it down!
The second one I'm reading is 'Secrets of the Monarch' by Allison Dubois. Now, I have three of her books, and found she's easy to read. But I'm reading them backwards. This is the book I should be reading last... oh well. It's a good read, and she makes sense too. She's not a heavy-handed writer either which is good for me at this time of year.

Anyway, I hope you're reading some great works right now, even while you're catching up with family at the same time! Until my next post, Merry Christmas, and happy reading!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

50,000 Words Blasted!


I finished NaNoWriMo! Woohoo!

Did you finish your book in the allotted amount of time, or did you come up short? Or... did you blast through the 50,000 words and keep going to 60,000 or 70,000? Well, if you did, way to go!

I only just made it with 8 words to spare, and that included an epilogue... to show there's going to be a second book.

Now, to enjoy Christmas and clean the house. And yesterday, I did just that! I concentrated on cleaning out my art area, and threw out a huge amount of things I didn't need.

And today, I'm hoping to get back into the office and put the children's books away and some other things away too... thus giving me space to put up the Christmas Tree and decorations. 
I'm looking forward to working on getting in and sorting through more books and other things in the office as well today; if I get the time to, as I have other housework to get done. I do have other ideas for the office before the year is out. 

Well, that's all for today. I hope your NaNoWriMo was as successful as mine has been. Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Past 30,000 Words In 10 Days

NaNoWriMo is great this time around. 

So far, as you can see, I've blown past the 30,000 word mark; and I'm up until midnight pumping out those words without even realising it!

It's been fun, inspirational, and pretty much the best NaNoWriMo I've done thus far. I'm not really sure what's made it fun this time, but it's been something exciting for me.

I've gotten more story ideas by working through my sci-fi fantasy collection than anything else; and getting enough sleep is something I've been doing as well. One of my biggest secrets is making sure I eat properly - absolutely zero junk food this year. And if I want some (like pizza or nachos), I make it from scratch myself. There's no going out and ordering it - no matter how much easier it is for me. There's way too much salt in the takeaway variety for me.

I'm also a pantser writer. Yep, I have some idea where my writing is going, I write up rough sketch of what I want to do, and then I throw the character into the thick of it and let them take the reigns. They take the roads they want, they make the deals, they blow up what they want to blow up and everything else is cannon fodder. 

Which is the most fun way of writing... right?


Well, a storm is grumbling and thundering its way to Logan City. I have a home office to get cleaned up and cleaned out before midday tomorrow. And I better get my chapters written before that storm hits too. So, I best be going. I thought to check in and let you know I'm still here. I'm still pumping out the words into my NaNo book and I'm flying past the 30,000 word mark and heading up the highway to the hellish 40,000 word mark (yep, I'm driven this horrible highway before - it's right when The Block shows its fugly face).  Until my next post, happy reading and writing. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Reached 20,000 Words

Okay, there was a good way of doing this easily... and it's because I started writing a draft about a month ago on something I really started research on in September. And the story was about something I had written a flash fiction on a couple of years ago.

So, I didn't really cheat, it was something in the wings that I wanted to write, but I wanted to write a draft to see if it would take off first... and well, it kinda did. 

Towards the end of October, I held off and did the Halloween thing and organised my folks' house (as they were coming home from a long holiday overseas) and then, I jumped right back into it on 2nd November - only to have some major teething problems with the NaNoWriMo site. But I wasn't the only one. So, it was a matter of spending most the that Saturday reorganising and counting words.

Yeah, a royal pain in my butt - and not to mention everyone else's for that matter. 

Anyway... my story is really up and running a course I never thought it would. I totally Australian too - with every Aussie slang word there is; along with a few I've made up. But this story has really been a lot of fun to do; making it dead easy to get it up to the 20,000 word mark. 

Now, the counting up on the side there. Each chapter is the in the smaller thousands... the bigger numbers are the above chapters counted together (including the one next to it). If I've mis-calculated, let me know; I'm not good at numbers. I'm only good at writing a book. 

Well, until my next post, I hope you're enjoying the month of NaNoWriMo. I certainly am. Happy Writing and Reading. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Welcome To National Novel Writing Month!

Aah yes! November. This is the month where all would-be writers - published and not - jump onto their tablets, computers and phones and write as much as they can to get to 50,000 words (or more if they wish) to write a book in a month!

Well, last year it was so much fun to get in and just do the deed of getting down and dirty with the words, and I loved it! I completed my book; but it was under the 50,000 words - even when it was fleshed out. But never mind, I enjoyed the ride none-the-less.

This year, the NaNoWriMo site has been updated and has been the most difficult to navigate ever. So many people have put in bug complaints about where to update their word count, that their word count isn't been updated properly, the 'plus sign and clock' aren't on their home page - and they have to sign out and sign back in again to activate them. Or worse still: they have to delete their project and started a new one! 

Well, this year, I put in a new project a month early, and thought I was being uber-organised. It turned out that no, I wasn't being all that organised at all, and the site screwed up my project royally. So, I had to delete my project, sign out completely, sign back in and put up a new project (which was the exact same one, but well, you know computer systems - it just had make me repeat myself). 

I wasn't the only person who had to do this, and was also more than miffed about how I couldn't just jump into my writing and put on my game face for this challenge. It's just not right when you're doing a massive challenge like this, you get all organised and find there's a huge glitch in the matrix of the system, forcing a lot of people around you - you included - to have to stop doing what you're doing and redo something. 

I love to write; and this is the first book I'm writing since last year... which I really struggled with. I just hope after this year, they don't 'update' the NaNoWriMo site again. There's so many people still in the dark. Well, until my next post, happy writing.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Reads

This time of year is by far my favourite! I get to carve pumpkins, dress up and scare kids, and hand out lolly bags. Yep, it's the fun part of the year.

It's also fun to get in and read some good horror too; and as a lot of you know, I'm a big Sai King fan. I love 'Christine' and 'Salem's Lot' as well as 'The Stand' and 'The Talisman' and 'Black House'. There's also Sai King's 'Dark Tower Series' - which I'm still up to book 4 of; if I can find it around the house! I did have it around here somewhere. Yes, it's in a safe place. And you know what happens with safe places, they turn into a wormhole; a bit like where the Tardis vanishes into every now and then.

But it's the way Sai King writes his works which pulls me in. I always feel as though we're sitting by a camp fire - or having a cup of coffee in a local cafe - and he's telling us a tall tale while we're all leaning inwards waiting with bated breath at what what will happen next!

Then, bang!

He says (writes) something which makes sure when you go to bed that night, you turn to switch off the bedside lamp, and well, you hesitate and wish you didn't have to. King's words whisper in the back of your mind and you wish you hadn't read that book - or that part of the book - this afternoon. But then, he's your favourite writer. 

Well, he's mine. And he's why I enjoy his work so much. His work has influenced how I work my own work, my own writing, as well. And you know, it's not easy to pull in an audience, to scare them, to make them feel something with just the words you write. This takes effort, emotion and letting people into your deepest thoughts and feelings - and that's harder than you'll ever think possible. 

And so my favourite Halloween reads have to do with how a book is written. I do enjoy the books I mentioned above, truly, and I've reread them a few times as well as watched the movies. However, the books are always better. And even though I have an extensive Stephen King collection, I haven't read all of them, it's just the status of owning them all which makes me want more of his written work. 

So, how about you? Who is your favourite horror author and how do they keep you coming back for more? Do you write because of them or do you just enjoy reading their work because it takes you places and scares you really good? Until my next post, happy reading and Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Yes! It's coming up to that time of the year again. And I'm taking part in this novel-writing month again.

Are you taking part? I hope you do. It's a great way to get into the habit of writing a book, and taking part in something which will help you work on your words with writing a book.

I remember my first attempt with National Novel Writing Month - it was less than a success. But as time went on, I became better at it. I was more prepared and I wrote faster.

It's something I've found I'm looking forward to each year. And I don't write all day with it. I write a couple of hours a day and that's it; there's not huge demand on me as it's something I've usually planned around - and I try to write a bit every day too.

I've been preparing for my book this year in such a way that I've begun working on it beforehand to see if it'll work out - and so it's up the draft stage at the moment; which is good. I'm able to get into it better than any other year. The best thing is that I've even got a cover ready for it too. 

So, are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? I hope so, it's a great way to get yourself working on a book of any type. Until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Birthday Gifts

I had a wonderful birthday last week; and spent the weekend at my brother's house. It was a good place to hang out and with good company too!

I spent the day doing some cleaning up and packing to drive to my brother's house. It was pretty much a chill-out day until then. But I didn't unwrap any presents until I got to my brother's house - as living alone makes it more an obvious thing that you're not a part of any family when you open your presents on your own.

So, once there, and my SIL was there, we exchanged gifts and I found my Mum gave me a Book Bed; along with an Andy Griffiths book ('The Big Fat Cow That Went Ka-Pow!'). I love the book bed, it's just lovely to use! 

Then, I bought myself 'The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet' by Benjamin Hoff. What a book! I've begun reading it and it's great so far. I read it before I turn out the light using the book bed. 

Then, yesterday, I picked up the parcel of my Birthday Buddy's and there was a good collection of wonderful reads in that box! I saw some good supernatural books and an animal book (she knows I love animal books) and a journal (yep, I enjoy writing out my thoughts at the end of the day). She also included a Claude Monet mug too; it was one of 'The Lilies'. So pretty! And it's a great size too! 

I also received a hand-thrown pot from my SIL and two vinyls from my older brother... great presents from the family and plenty of birthday cards too. But I do enjoy the books the most as they last so much longer in my life; and I remember them for so much longer as well. 

How about you? Do you remember your book presents better than other ones? Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Up-coming Birthday

Well, I have a birthday coming up, and it's always fun to buy myself a little something special for that day.

Usually, I get a set of shelves, a lot of pots and plants or something for the kitchen - you know, something I can build on with care and love. This year, I bought myself a book. I was in the city last week meeting up with friends from 'A Place to Call Home' craft group - of the Brisbane people - when I popped into Archives Bookstore to see if I could track down 'Black House' by Stephen King and Peter Straub

My lovely big black copy of this book has gone missing, and I really would love to read both books again in the next year. But without the second book, I simply refuse to read the first. So, there I was looking around this gorgeously big and full to the brim bookstore - and not to mention one of Brisbane's oldest bookstores as well! And I found I was lost! They had moved the book around and shifted all the genres around since the last time I was in.

So, after asking, I found the ladies there said that their Stephen King section was very tiny. His popularity has come back in a huge way and so when something comes in of his, it doesn't sit on the shelf very long. Then they asked what I was looking for and when I mentioned 'Black House' they said no, it hadn't been in a long time. Well, there went that endeavour!
So, I Googled which books I was looking at next... and remembered I was also searching for a cool little book titled: 'The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet' by Benjamin Hoff. When I asked about it, the lady pointed me in the direction in the shelves I'd find it, when she stopped me then showed me the lovely blue book I was searching for and it was only $9 or so. Well! What a great find! And I've got it all wrapped up for my birthday this Saturday! I really can't wait to read it - and I did get my nose into the first 20 pages on the way home on the bus (I didn't have anything else to read with me). 

So, what books have you been looking for and found another you've been looking for instead, much to your surprise and delight? Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, September 16, 2019

It's Been A While

Yep, it's been a while, and there's a good reason for that. My internet was cut off. 

Now, it's not because I didn't pay the bill, it was because in my area, the National Broadband thing was going through and they switch everyone off so you can either join or make your phone a hot spot and make life harder for yourself.... I chose to be normal and join the Broadband system.

Today it came all together and I'm all hooked up on the system and now back onto my computer! Yay!

My home office has undergone the first of its renovations: the tall bookcase and Grandpa's home made desk swapped places. That took a day to do on Friday - after much swearing, cursing and needing to be patient.

Well, now, I'm going through a 2-drawer filing cabinet and shredding anything I no longer need - and believe me, there's a lot in that drawer! I've already filled 2 garbage bags to the brim with unwanted paper; all shredded and ready for the bin! It's a great thing that I've also finally decided to get rid of the filing cabinet too. Dad said he wants it - so there's a home for it as well. 

Now all I have to do is save up for a new desk and two bookcases... there's around $300 right there I have to save for in the next 2 months. It's not going to take long, I know it.

Grandpa's journals are going really well... and I've found some photos of the family when they were living out at Allora and Warwick and the work he used to do out there too. So, it's getting a lot easier seeing what he used to do as well. 

So, what kind of work are you doing in writing or reading? Are you reading any good books lately? Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Home Office Update

Seeing I'm not writing that much at the moment, I thought you'd like to know what's going on with the home office. 

I've tossed out two big bags of rubbish into the wheelie bin, have sorted out bills and other things into a pile to be filed and still haven't found my large, hard cover copy of 'Black House' by Stephen King. I loaned it to a friend and he insists he gave it back - but nope, I haven't found it.

Still I'll look seeing he said he gave it back.

Anyway, the office is being cleaned out slowly; and I'm also looking around for a newish desk and a just as newish bookcase. 

Grandpa's desk has writing stationery in it which I will use in due time - along with the other stationery I have collected over time. Then, I've got to collect more boxes to box up the things I have. 

The good thing about doing this big thing to the home office is that I'll be cleaning out a lot of things which will be sorted out in a big way... and this will help me work out what to take with me when I do move to my next place.

My books will still be with me, but I'm hoping to work out how they're sorted out and stored. I just want my office to be a place I want to be in, instead of a junk room to dump things. And seeing I'm not writing at the moment, cleaning my office out is a good starting point for me. 

So, what do you do when you're not writing or reading? Do you clean out things, or do you do something else? Until my next post, happy reading.