Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today is the first day I've been on the internet in my office on my own internet account in a month!  Yesterday, I was out and about in the afternoon with Dad for about three hours looking around at Garden City for a new computer; seeing my Uncle's old one wouldn't do anything or 'talk' to anything I owned.  Anyway, we looked at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith.  And even though Harvey Norman is having a sale, they turned out to be the most expensive.  Dick Smith didn't have a laptop to save itself... and so we looked at JB Hi-Fi and they were great - despite the service being a little lax.

Once we got the thing home it was just on sunset - as the traffic was horrible.  Dad took the computer up to my office and I sorted out a snack for us.  He plugged it in and I turned on the tv and lights in the house for my bird (she loves talking to the television). When it was hooked up - along with the modem - we switched it on.  It worked well and the modem lights blinked, but we couldn't get on the net.  I worked on it for a few hours but decided to wait until today to call Optus and the Netgear support people to help me out.  An hour after I did, I was cruising around on the net very happily.

Isn't it strange that once our computers flunk out on us, and we are cut off from our internet, we feel so disconnected from the rest of the world?  I felt disconnected, but then, I got back into more and I cleaned out places and things I had been putting off for a while.  Now, the house is looking that little bit more organised; and I'll keep going as I'm on a bit of a roll now it's begun.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August Book Buys!

This month, I've been pretty good.  However, I've also received books from friends and relatives as well, so really the collection has grown quite a bit through no fault of my own.  I'll start with the books I have bought this month and then moved onto the ones I have been given. 
On the first day of this month, I bought a major book of The Dark Tower Series - which I've gotten my nose into and love totally.  It was 'The Wastelands' by Stephen King that I bought from K-Mart and have yet to read; as I'm racing through 'The Drawing of the Three' quite quickly now.
Then, on the 2nd, August, I bought three books from The Book Warehouse at Springwood:  'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society' by Mary Ann Schaffer, 'The Big Questions: Philosophy' by Simon Blackburn, 'The Big Questions: The Universe' by Stuart Clark'.  The last two books are of a series of books for people who want to read about the huge questions in life but have no real idea how to go about it all.  And seeing I have those burning questions and wouldn't understand it all if I took those classes in university, these books are something of a blessing for me.  Then, I scored the poetry book 'Heart Gifts from Helen Steiner Rice' for $2.00 at a jumble sale at the Home Festival at Kangaroo Point here in Brisbane just last Saturday.  And to make the purchase all the sweeter, it is a first edition!  How wonderful is that?
Then, on 10th August, I was sent 'The Golden Notebook' by Doris Lessing in memory of a wonderful Bookcrosser who suddenly passed away - and they had this book on their wishlist as well.  The book came all the way from Sweden to be with me.  I can't wait to read it!  It may be read over Christmas yet. 
And then, on this weekend just gone, I was presented with 'Dark Desires' 5-book series by Doug Cartwright; a wonderful friend of mine who is also an artist.  He said he spotted it in the jumble sale at the Home Festival for $5.00 and thought it was very me... and didn't want me to miss out on it and just bought it for me.  How sweet is that?  He's a lovely man and does that kind of thing for everyone he knows.  And you know, I've been looking at those books at QBD but they've been too expensive for me to buy; and I let him know that too.  
So, what have you bought this month or received?  Or have you been good and avoided the stores altogether?  Until my next post, happy reading!   

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Home Festival Scores!

On Saturday, I was out all day at the Home Festival here in Brisbane to show my Altered Book and an artistic view of what my book collection meant to me.  Well, the day went off well!  The weather was perfect with blue skies, the sun out nice and bright and a gorgeous cool sea breeze to keep the whole day from keeping us from getting too hot.
The stalls were varied from organic foods to doing your own screen-printing to second-hand books (which I didn't seen until the end of the day).  But there was a jumble sale near our Pop-Up Museum which I had a look at with my niece, Riley, and I found myself a first edition of a poetry book by Helen Steiner Rice which was printed in 1968; and I paid only $2.00 for it!  What a lovely little book it is!  
And to add to my collection, one of my friends and artists - Doug Cartwright - found a 5-book set of gothic romance for me for $5.00.  He told me that when he saw it he knew it was very much me.  So, he bought it for me.  How cool is that?  I was so happy to see it as I've been eyeing it off at QBD and can't afford the $30 price tag attached to it; and now I've got it for so much less!
I found other things at the jumble sale - but they weren't books - to add to my other collections and they really made my day.  So, what have you found at jumble or garage or yard sales recently that you thought was a great find recently?  Was it found at a big festival - like mine was - or at a local market?  Do tell.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Favourite Classics

We all have a collection of favourites in our lives; and usually we don't let them go.  Over the years, I have read some great books and they're still a part of my collection - which is still growing.  Then, there's also some great books I've read - great classics - that I've picked up, read and don't ever want to let go.  I thought to let you all know the somewhat small list of classics I've read and loved over time.

'The Day of the Triffids' by John Wyndham
'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' by F. Scott Fitzgerald
'Red Dog' by Louis de Bernieres
'Old Man and the Sea' by Ernest Hemmingway (2nd Edition)
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde
'The War of the Worlds' by H.G Wells
'Little Women' Louisa May Alcott
'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury

I do have a shelf full of other classics I hope to get into over the next few years.  However, I find I have to be in the mood for a classic novel; and I do love it when I read a great one.  What ones have you read?  Are they worth it or not?  Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Indie Publishing Vs Big Time Publishing

There's a war being waged in the publishing world.  This war is between the big publishers and the self-publishers - or better known as the Indie Publishers.  Being a writer myself, and having spent a good part of my life trying to get published in some way, unsuccessfully, I have found it's the Indie Publishing that I may have to have a look at eventually.
I have been writing seriously since I was 15 years old.  However, no publisher would take my manuscripts as they weren't solicited or proofread and edited to their specifications.  No matter how much I tried to please them, none of them wanted me on their lists to be published.  And finding an agent was twice as hard here in Australia; as I began my search for one in my late 20's and failed to find one who wasn't having problems in some way.  I called these problems The Three D's... Divorce, Debt or Desertion.  There was another 'D'... Death.  Some of them loved working as an agent, but it didn't like them and their health suffered badly.  
However, once I had a bad run-in with a literary agent who thought she could treat me like crap, I gave up (and this was when I also met Wilbur Smith.  He was amazed at how badly she had treated me that day).  I swore off agents and just thought that maybe I wasn't meant to get my name on the cover of a book and in any bookstore anywhere.  This was in 2004.
Then, online publishing came into play and I jumped in with both feet!  What a great boon!  E-books were next; not that I love to have one, but to have one published would be different.  I have been published on Bibliotastic as of last year in December.  My book too about 3 months to pull together from editing, proofreading and getting the cover art right... and I have had hundreds of people download it and read it.  
But I do have a variety of big time published authors as well as the indie/self-published books in my collection.  They have a number of differences between, but the quality of writing is just as good as each other.  I do enjoy reading either one.  So, which one do you enjoy?  Until my next post, happy reading. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


Over the last month, I've had big problems with my computer - it bit the dust in a big way.  It runs, but nothing shows on the screen; so it's time for a new one.  However, we must get this year's photos off the hard drive first (there's nothing wrong with it, we just can't see what's on the screen).  
Anyway, seeing I've had time on my hands, I've been cleaning up the office bit by bit to make it look more like a place of work and pleasure and less like a junk room where I dump things.  I was planning on doing this either just after the Home Festival this weekend or over Christmas, however, when I'd have more time on my hands.  But it seems the best laid plans never work to our timelines, right?
I currently have the air-conditioner running fresh air through the room and have sprayed Glen-20 air freshener around the place to get rid of any air-borne germs hanging around.  I've also gone through my massive Mt Everest To-Be-Read and put aside a few sci-fi books for a book bag to be given away, while other books I've sorted out and boxed up for a garage sale from my late Uncle's estate.  Some of them will be Bookcrossing books (so let's hope people will be journalling them).  
Late last night, I grabbed a Pledge Duster head and wiped up all the dust I could see under the old tower, around my monitor and on the desk - and wow! - was there a lot of dust!  I'm amazed how much of the stuff gets in and settles when everything is left alone.  Today, I folded up the blanket I have there for Winter and then took a few photos for you guys to have a look at.  
You see, I've bagged anything on the floor in Green Bags so I know what I need to go through and then I put all my handbags on hooks and shelved any books sitting on the floor.  And doesn't the room look better than before?  All it needs now is the new computer and I'll be back at my work station again!  How cool is that?  Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Borrowed not Bought

I'm here at home, bored out of my head from not being able to jump online whenever I want to.  However, I've found plenty of time to be be able to work on other things while I've had the spare time to myself... like other stories that have been put on hold, cleaning out the office, which looks very much like a teenager's bedroom right now (honestly it does, but it has way more books!) and I'm also reading more too.  
I've borrowed Mum's laptop to do my internet surfing and a very way of surfing the net.  She had paid for a dongle (is that how you spell it?), a little thing that plugs into the laptop which gives me a certain amount of money to play with for the internet.  But I tell ya, it's very, very slow.  And I'm used to something that's much faster.  
My computer gave up the ghost completely on Monday or Tuesday after it gave me all my photos - except this years (how crazy is that?) and I pulled over the whole folder of 'My Pictures' so it should have been on there.  But I have been working on doing things here.  The garden has been photographed, the fish tank has been arranged and rearranged (and the fish don't like that) and I'm working on two other art projects I've had planned and on hold since the beginning of the year.  But really, I can't wait to get back online and be here more permanently with a new computer tower...  until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Few Days Offline

Over the last week, I've had a lot of problems with my computer.  It's not a spring chicken and so, it's begun to play up in a major way.  This has caused big problems in more ways than one.  I've been unable to upload photos onto my blogs, do any writing or editing of my books (or write anything new) and by sheer fate, I've begun writing another short story and have had to write it on my ipod as it's the only form of computer I have right now.... now that sucks!
This is why I'm posting now, today.  I may be away for around a week or so while I'm searching for a new computer.  The tower of my current one bit the dust today in a major way after we tried our best to keep it running.  The fortunate thing is that I have been hunting around for a new computer system/tower for about a week or so now (well, since it began playing up really bad) and have a fair idea of what I'm looking at in what price bracket for a new computer and/or a used one.  So, I shouldn't be away from you guys for too long.  
The upside of this is that I may yet get through a few books while I don't have a computer taking up my days and nights.  And I may also get in and work on my writing more too.  Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Books and Paintings

Books and art have been working and living hand in hand for centuries.  And now, I have found on Bookcrossing a link to a wonderful collection of them to share with you all!

Picturing Books