Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year of Reading Coming Up!

Yes! In only just over a day or so, we'll be in a very new year of 2016! This will be a squeaky clean new year of reading, writing and discovering bookstores and book-related topics! 


Well, I'm hoping to get in and read more books than I did this year - but then I was writing a few things and editing this year, so that's why I was so slow in getting my reading list up. However I did buy many books to add to the ever-growing, ever-gremlining collection of my books! 

So, here are my hopefuls for next year to be read, in no particular order:

'Blood Music' by Greg Bear
'Mostly Harmless' by Douglas Adams
'Joyland' by Stephen King
'Oxygen' by Andrew Miller
'Margaret Olley: Far From Still Life' by Meg Stewart

These are just a few to start the year. I'll add to them as it progresses. 

I am currently reading 'Star Wars: Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig and loving it! Seeing Star Wars is a huge thing right now, I'm looking forward to getting my nose into the next book of this trilogy when I get the next one from the bookstore. Well, what have you hopefully planned to read next year? Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pin it!

I've been meaning to expand my horizons in the way of how my photographs are viewed here. Right now, they are linked to sites and you just click on a particular word in a paragraph which is highlighted and you're taken onto another page - usually Photobucket.

However just before Christmas Eve, I joined Pinterest and have only uploaded three photos onto it. I've been meaning to join this site and have some fun with it as some of my friends have told me about it many times; but I've hesitated.

So, if you're part of a photographic site, which one are you a member of? I'm on Photobucket, 365Project and am now on Pinterest. Please do share yours and let us know the link/s so we can have a look into your reading world too. Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Caedmon Audio Books

Tonight's been a long one for me... very long. By the time you get in and read this, it'll be well and truly Christmas Day on the top and I'll be in bed sleeping off a massive dinner I really should have had more restraint in dishing up onto my plate at my cousin's house.

But when the gift-giving came around, I was totally surprised by what my brother and niece gave me! They went into the city on Sunday and sussed out presents for everyone - well the last ones for everyone - and found me two audio vinyls from Caedmon Audio Books

These books aren't whole books, they are just chapters of the books - excerpts if you will - and are read by the authors of the books themselves. Very cool if you ask me! And my brother knowing how I'd squeal with delight about these things bought them for me for two reasons: I love books in any way shape or form, and I collect vinyls. 

The most special thing about these two vinyls is that they were in their original wrappings and have never been played before. So, I'll have something to 'read' over the weekend while it's raining - very cool. 

Caedmon Audio Books have been around since the 1950's, recording books on vinyls for a long time to keep people in connection with the written word for as along as everyone had turntables. 

However, as time went on and technology became better and faster, another company took them over, but kept the name of Caedmon; to keep the familiar feel to the product - HarperCollins Publishing. This company expanded upon the vinyls and kept up the quality recordings in America and across the world; making Caedmon a household name.
In the 1990's, Harper/Collins moved with the times and changed their ways slightly and moved from vinyls to CD's - but they changed the old name of Caedmon to their publishing name and the older name of Caedmon faded out quickly; thus the next generation didn't know about them as well. 
I'm glad there's people who still have these long-playing vinyls around to play as they're something interesting and brilliant to keep on hand if you're wanting something different to read instead of a book or an e-reader. It's a very retro way of reading, and having the very author's voice reading the words the way they're supposed to have been read is even better! Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Little Romance At Christmas

Anna Campbell is an Australian romance novelist, who writes some of the best and heart-warming romance I've read around.

Well, for the Christmas season, she's got a competition going on which is lasting only 24 hours! So, ya gotta be quick for this one!

Just jump onto her site here or Facebook status here and you can be in with a chance to win one of two print copies of her book 'Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed' by Anna Campbell. So, what are you waiting for? Have a look, have a go, like and share it on her Facebook Author's page and see how you go - I have. Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars Adjacent

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is a huge thing right now - well, okay, it's been going on for well over 30 years; since 1977 - and it's still going.

I think I saw the first one, but was too young to remember seeing it. But by the time the next few came out, we did go and see them; and I was old enough to remember seeing them and have the Star Wars fever that accompanied them.

Now, there's an author out there who's writing books about Star Wars: Chuck Wendig. He's written a book I'm currently reading titled 'Star Wars Aftermath', and it's the first in a trilogy. I first heard about it when it came out in September - but only online. So, when I found it in a local bookstore, I jumped on it and bought it immediately. 

Very cool!

And yes, this Star Wars is everything to do with the Star Wars everyone is watching right now. I love it in every way. It's written in first person, it's filled with action, filled with page-turning adventure and passionately written! 

I haven't gotten halfway through the first book yet. 

So, while everyone is rushing around the stores looking for that last minute present for the person they forgot on their list, go out and buy this book. It's well worth it! Or better still, buy it off Amazon and get it delivered before Christmas, so you have something to dive into while everyone is in the food coma over the New Year. 'Star Wars Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig... I love it! It's got everything about Star Wars... it's adjacent to Star Wars, and it'll keep your mind and imagination ready for the next one - yes Star Wars VIII; seeing you've just see VII. Until my next post, happy reading.

Now on Facebook!

Hey, if you have a Facebook account, you can now follow My Reading List on Facebook! 

Yes, that's right! 

Now, it was a closed group, but I think it's best if I make it a public group; as reading and writing is such a great thing to do. So, if you'd like to have a read of some great articles, have a look at funny pictures of books and jokes, or just talk about your last read, your most recently-written piece, please do jump on into My Reading List on Facebook. Or just click on the link below and you'll be taken straight there.

My Reading List

Happy reading!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cumquat Books Is No More

I went out today to drop into a bookstore I had gone to over a year ago; and meant to drop into this year; only to find that Cumquat Books is no longer. Isn't it sad when a bookstore closes down? Especially when it's an independent one? I think so.

I found out from the owner of a lovely Vintage Clothing store that the lady, Anne Visona, retired from the bookstore business last year. She wasn't going broke, and there wasn't any problems with the store. She just felt it was too much for her. Well, I'm sad to hear about this.

However, the lady at the clothing store told me about another bookstore - if I was interested in it. I said yes immediately, and she gave me a bookmark of The Mount Gravatt Bookstore over near the Mount Gravatt College on Cavendish Road. Well, I thanked her very much and jumped in the car, grabbed the GPS and punched in the address... but the darned thing had never heard of the streets I wanted it to take me to. 

Well, I pulled out the refedex, found the street and kind of knew my way there. I got onto the freeway, took the wrong exit, found my way back to where I was supposed to go and needed to pull over to see how much further I needed to go - as I had found the Mount Gravatt College. So, I pulled into Carmel Street, and what do you know, I saw Little Cavendish Road - the very street which was attached to Carrara Street, which was where the bookstore was situated!

Who needs GPS! I followed my nose!

Well, this bookstore was in a little strips of unsuspecting shops; and what a shop it is! So, I parked the car in the car park, locked it up and walked along the footpath in the cool, quiet shade of the shops, finding this wonderful treasure of a store in the least-expected place in the world! And this place is lovely! It's well-set out, air-conditioned and isn't just a second-hand bookshop, but also a book exchange. I love these places because you can swap over your entire library of books for others instead of buying brand new. What a great store to have in the quiet suburban streets of Mount Gravatt... and it's got a great selection of everything too. I'm definitely coming back here! They don't have an official website, but I found this site which is just as good. So, if you're in the area, drop into the Mount Gravatt Bookstore, it's got some great books instore - and if you can't find what you want, just ask Cindy, and she'll be able to help you. Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

May Be Finished, But Continuing On

NaNoWriMo may have finished last month with a lot of people completing their 50,000 words successfully. 

Um... I wasn't one of them, but I tried! Yeah, I got around 10,000 words done and then had to pack it in because I was typing chapters with just one hand due to one of my hands being unable to type.

But at least I was getting in and giving it a go.

Anyway, for all of those who didn't get to finish the first draft of their book, are you still plugging away at it? Has it held you long enough to keep on finishing it? Mine has. And it's good that I've begun it as it's a good book too. It's a continuation of my 'Angel Love' book and I'm hoping to get it finished up over the New Year or so - well, before school starts anyway.

So, do tell, if you've done NaNoWriMo, have you either finished your book (and what you're going to do with it next) or if you haven't; are you going to continue on with it? And if not, why not? Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Typo Stores

Today I went out to Wesfield Garden City to search out my last Christmas present.


Yes, I'm early in finishing - as usual - and it was a Gloria Jeans Christmas mug - as usual. And that was all I was going to buy. I was hoping to leave the shopping centre with just one thing.

However, I stopped by a place called 'Typo' where you could by all kinds of lovely things from decorations, letters that lit up, mugs, bags, art supplies, notebooks of all sizes, types, colours and with photos on the front and back. They have retro-style cushions and old typewriters (which don't work, they're just decoration) and sell portable turntables which don't have any cords (which is strange in itself). But this place is just filled with all kinds of wonderful and joyous things to keep you looking for hours on end!

And I did more than look... I did what I promised myself I'd never do! I bought something from there and hoped I could use it. Well, okay, it was a notebook, so I knew I'd use it. Anyway, if you want to see what this place has to offer, just go here and you can see it. Otherwise, I'll put their link on the side bar and you can look at it at your pleasure. Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Writer's Group Christmas Party

Yesterday, I went out into the cooler wet day of Logan City to my last writer's group at the Loganholme Library. Seeing it was for Christmas, I took along some cake and we sat down and enjoyed some lovely food while discussing the writings of other writers in the group.

Three or four writers had emailed their work to everyone and we all had a go at reading the 6 pages. Even though I had only done my readings two days previous, everyone knew I hadn't had a good month; so it was forgiven at my lateness.

I enjoy reading other people's work as it lets me into other worlds, styles and emotions of how their stories move. Sometimes I'm reading something which is halfway through and there's not much in the way of explanation of how things are going, the plot or who is who, but most times, I can pick up on it all; which is good. 

We had a newer writer who wrote a first draft yesterday. It had a time-traveling train in it, which everyone loved and picked up on straight away, and characters which really needed a lot of fleshing out. However, when we got back to the train, she told us that it wasn't in the entire story, just in the first part. However, we found it made a profound impression on us and encouraged her to keep in there - to use it like the Tardis or the Delorian - and she thought it sounded good. Then, we started sprouting things from 'Back to the Future', quoting Doc Emmett Brown and Marty McFly ... it was funny! We had a few Great Scotts flying around, a 'This is deep' and somebody said something about a 'Flux Capacitor'; and we all got in and cracked more jokes about time travel, ate some more food and - before we knew it - it was time to pack up and leave! 

Yep, this was it for my writers group. This means I'll be hiding away in my cave to write more, read more (hopefully) and enjoy getting into the art and writing worlds. Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Page by Page

While I was recovering at Brunswick Heads, I had a lot of ideas for my markets run through my head. It was helpful that Mum took me to junk shops to see what things could be helpful there too... yep, good, old Mum and her suggestions were great. I'm going to use some of them too.

Well, I had another idea to work with as well. I bought a book to start writing in each day. No, it's not a journal/diary. This is a book where I write about something about each day on only one page. There's no 'Dear Diary' no signing off - like I said it's not a diary - it's going to be a year-long story of day-to-day life. 

And I'm not sure how it's going to work out. It could be boring an sleep-inducing, it could be exciting and fun, it could be full of philosophical thoughts and deep meanings... or just a book filled with page after page of crap.

I'll let you all know in a year... and see how it goes, okay? Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

On The Mend and Still Writing

Well, it's been two days since I arrived home and I've still got the stitches in my arms and hand. But I'm going well. I'm still writing and reading and doing all the usual stuff I'd do as a writer, but my right hand is getting crabby faster due to the overuse of it; and the stitches not being used to being used.

I didn't get to 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo this past month, but that doesn't matter. I got up to around the 10,000 word mark, and that means I won in my own way - I was writing with one hand and I got in and did my best this year... and that's all that matters, right?

I read 'Revival' by Stephen King... and that was a wonderful thing to get done. Now, I'm able to get in and read something else over Christmas too. If you'd like to know how that book turned out, just read the review below and then race out and buy the book! You'll love its absolutely creepy ending... I did, kinda, sorta... *shudders at the thought of it*... well, you know how it is with SK.

Now, I've got my nose into 'Star Wars Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig... a great writer I've become interested in for a few years now. I've been writing on his blog - well, through his blog - 'Terrible Minds' with my Flash Fiction for 2 years now and have become a regular on there. I either creep people right out or make them cry and laugh... either way, I'm getting really good at writing Flash Fiction; and I'm hoping to publish the work over the next few years.

Speaking of writing, I got an idea while I was down the coast. It's hard to explain it. I bought a book of blank paper and what I'm going to do is do one page of writing per day in long-hand. When the end of the year comes due, I'll have a book written. It will be either a success of what I've written or a book of writing that isn't good at all. I'll see how I go.

And because I forgot to write about the November Book Buys, here it is now... I scored some lovely books over the past month. They were great. Early in the month, I bought 'House on the Hill' by Estelle Pinney - a great friend of mine who I used to sing with in the Southern Cross Singers when I was a member of a choir - for a few dollars. This book was almost brand new and I sent it to France at a Christmas present for an ornament exchange... just to cheer up my exchange buddy; who lives near the boarder of Italy. I also got 'Full House' by Maeve Binchy too - it's not a thick book, unlike her others - but it's a nice little book to read over the holiday period. And then, I scored 'Such a Long Journey' by Rohinton Minstry also at my Craft Group. All three books were bought on 2nd, November... not a bad score if you ask me.
Then, at Craft Group again, I found three more books which were great. There was 'Fools Rush In' - Book One by Janice Thompson and 'Swinging on a Star' - Book Two by Janice Thompson. Then, there was 'Facing the Light' by Adele Geras. The first two books (which were the first of a series) were of Wedding Books... so I thought to give them a try; seeing I don't read many women's fictions. Anyway, that's all there is for last month's book buys. Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What Are You Reading?

It's almost here; silly season, Christmas! The time we all put up with our family, give expensive presents after maxing out the credit card on not only those things, but also food and decorations and lights.

But this time of year is also for reading. I love catching up on those great faves of mine - clearing off a few from my Mt To Be Read... yes, that gargantuan pile of books collected over the year that i have been meaning to read, well, i try to get in and read as many of them as possible at this time of year.

i do it now before i don't get the time to during the year because life gets in the way while you're busy making other plans - so John Lennon was right about that, right?

so far this season, I've knocked over 'Revival' by Stephen King. i had the book already half-read, and i read the other half in just 2 days! i'm currently 170 pages into 'Night World - Vol 1' by J.L Smith and have read 40 pages of 'Star Wars Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig. i can't wait to get more reading done soon. so, what have you been reading - and are planning to read - during this season of Christmas? 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

'Revival' by Stephen King

Jamie Morton was born in Maine way back in simpler times, when everyone went to church every Sunday. All the neighbours knew each other, knew what each and every child got up to and when there was gossip, the adults knew if it was true or not.

Then, Pastor Charles Jacobs started working in their small church. He was young, married to a beautiful woman and had a baby boy. He was also just what the town needed, in the way of spiritual guidance.

The parents loved his sermons.

The children loved his wife, Patsy.

Everyone adored his son, who tagged along with anyone who would let him play with them.

The Pastor and Jamie forged a close bond when Jamie was just a child, where the pastor showed him things that could be done with electricity - something which was unusual for a man of such strong faith. But, Jamie had the same fascination; which became stronger when his brother, Conrad, lost his voice and the Pastor used something experimental on him once and it came back!

Then disaster struck when Patsy and their young son were killed in a freak car accident. Pastor Jacobs went off the rails and delivered a sermon that nobody in that small community would ever forget; long after he had left.

However, during Jamie's life in the drug-filled music industry, he stumbled upon Pastor Jacobs again and again - however, he was no longer a Pastor. He was a travelling  miracle-working - harnessing electricity to cure people of all kinds of things.

But then, Jamie was cured from a Heroine addiction by Charles Jacobs; and it wasn't long afterwards he noticed that with the cure, came some dreadful after-affects. It all started to make him wonder if it was worth it ... then people he knew - people he'd seen cured at these gatherings of Charles' - were starting to flip out. Jamie started to conduct his own investigation.

What he discovered wasn't good.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Plugging Away, One-handed...

man, if it's not one thing, i's another... right?

after my car, my Mum was in hospital with bad blood pressure. then, a dear family friend passed away, and we had his funeral to go to. the very next day, i was in hospital.

i went in to all the sun cancers off my arms and hands. that was on Thursday.

now, it's saturday, and i'm typing with just one hand; but it hasn't stopped me from working on NaNoWriMo over the last few days, and i have typedup around 700 words - with one hand - this morning to keep up with my numbers. however, this first year of NaNoWriMo has helped me start my next book - 'The Angel Wars' - and it's been  failure as well because i didn't finish it at the word count i had hoped to have - i only reached around 7,000 words, but it's better than i thought i'd get.

i am reading though! 


i've gotten my nose into 'Revival' by Stephen King. just yesterday, i think i read around 20 or so pages of it - today, i'm hoping to read more. 

if you'd like to find out what's been going on with me, check out 'my book-crazy life' blog, and you can keep up with it all. until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NaNoWriMo ..Not Going Well.

I thought this writing activity would be fun and I'd be able to get in and write my novel quickly.

But then life got involved - as it does - and car thieves got involved too. No, my car didn't stolen, it got broken into; while it was in my driveway and I was at home.

Little grots!

Now, I feel very unsafe and my writing mojo is gone. I haven't reached the word count I had planned to and I'm struggling with every word - and I'm depressed about this.

There's a hatred I have about thieves; such lowlives who can't be bothered to think about what they do to other people's property, to how they make us feel when they stuff with our gear.

I hate feeling like this - and want to know when it'll go away.

Just today, I got back into writing a little of my NaNoWriMo novel, but there just wasn't enough mojo working to get a flow in the words to make it catch... and I barely have 7,000 words. We're all supposed to be halfway through (that's 25,000 words) but I'm not.

I've failed this first year... I think I'll work on this book over Christmas and just not pressure myself. This first attempt at this NaNoWriMo has been a bust. There's always next year. Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Craft Group Book Buys

I seem to be buying books at my craft group some weeks; as people bring ones in from cleaning out their houses and their family's houses - which is good because we all could do with a bit of swapping around.

Anyway, I found two tables filled to the brim with books and grabbed three off them in the end:

'Fools Rush In - Book One' by Janice Thompson
'Swinging On A Star - Book Two' by Janice Thompson
'Facing The Light' by Adele Geras

There were many more books there but quite a few were about child abuse and abusive backgrounds. Personally, I don't know how people can read books about other people's pain like that. I know it seems good to get it out on paper, but to print it up and sell it to the public is just reliving it - but that's just my opinion of course.

Well, I'll have to find a space in my library for these ones. Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaNoWriMo! Are You Doing It?

Hey, are you doing NaNoWriMo - alright, I'll speak English... it's shortened from National Novel Writing Month? I've decided to take it on this month and see how it goes.

So far, I've written half a chapter and put it up on the dashboard to keep my word count and found I only have done 1,098 words out of the 5,000 I was supposed to do in a day. Well, I guess I write less than I expected; but then not everyone has the muse hanging around for them every day for hours on end.

There have been people on the site you sign up to who have been doing this since it started and they have won it, enjoyed it and are jumping back 'into the pool again' to do it all again. 

So, my question to you guys and gals is this: have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Were you successful? Did you have fun writing you novel in a month, or did you feel so stressed out that you felt dreadful? Me? I'm looking forward to getting back into my writing as I have a great idea... I just hope it works. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Book Buys!

This month I've been pretty good - honestly, I have! I know, I know that list on the sidebar is making me look like a hoarder, but really, I haven't bought that many books.

Okay, I'll tell you all how it all went down that many books ended up in my collection. The first two at the bottom, 'Human Instinct' by Robert Winston and 'Introducing Quantum Theory' by J.P McEvoy and Oscar Zarate were both given to me by my Birthday Buddy on Bookcrossing. Very cool, don't you think? Yep, me too.

The next huge number of around 15 or so, were from my brother's house. His girlfriend and himself are organising a garage sale and they gave me first pickings at the books... how could I say no? There were so many I loved and knocked back because I already have some along the same lines of them.

Then, in the last week, I found 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell and 'Star Wars Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig. Both books are something I haven't read and both books are books I want to read badly.

This also brings my book collection to over 2,000 books... very cool, right? yeah? Well, I think so. Anyway, I hope you're having a wonderful Halloween, happy reading!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chuck Wendig

Over the last few years, I've been haunting a blog called 'Terrible Minds' owned by Canadian author Chuck Wendig - and with such a great and unusual name as that, you'd think he be a strange person; and you'd be right.

I stumbled upon his work through Google. I was looking for book blogs to put up on here during the Summer Fun Events in 2013 and found his blog by pure chance. I didn't say anything for a while in case he was a bit of a flash in the pan - but was pleasantly surprised to find he was everything but that. 

Chuck is a blunt and honest writer who blogs exactly what is on his mind - and I mean exactly what's running around in his head. He runs a great blog - it may look very plain, but it's a great place to jump in and read, have fun, get a great laugh and realise that us writers all think exactly like him... well, okay not exactly, but we do swear and curse in our heads and would love to do the same on our blogs, but we're too damned polite to.

But Chuck isn't... he's just himself; and that's his appeal. Everyone loves it that he's a warts and all kind man and doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to writing. 

However, he does defend himself to the hilt when the critics have a go at him about his books. If somebody out there has an ax to grind with him about an aspect or a set of characters in his books, and he doesn't see the point of this ax-grinding, he'll Tweet about it, and then he'll do a post about it... and he won't hold back on it either. Like I said, he says exactly what's on his mind.

And then all us fans jump in and we love him for doing what he's doing. 

I own two of his books - 'Black Birds' and 'Blue Blazes' - and have just bought a third one I found at Dymocks by pure chance - 'Star Wars Aftermath' - and have yet to sit down in my big comfy chair to read them all. However, what I do love about Chuck is his Flash Fiction Fridays... now that's a place where he gives us all a prompt, a word limit, a deadline and lets us have a go at writing - and there's an open theme too! So, we can make our audience laugh, cry, shiver in delight or keep them awake - our choice - so long we reach the word count. 
I've been doing the Flash Fiction Fridays for over three years now, and love it! It's well worth a try - even if you think you're not a good writer, it'll help you with your writing. His link is on the sidebar if you want to have a look at his blog. Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Books to Add to the Collection

My niece had her 16th Birthday yesterday and we had a wonderful dinner at her place with just the family. 

It was lots of fun, with plenty of music, good food and laughter and presents. 

When the night was coming to an end, my brother mentioned they were getting themselves ready for a garage sale and said there books out the back and invited me to look at them, and I brought home a collection of books they didn't want...

'Eric Clapton - The Autobiography'
'Miles - The Autobiography' by Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe
'Cook Right 4 Your Blood Type' by Dr Peter J.D'Adamo with Catherine Whitney
'The Bonsai Handbook' by David Prescott
'Growing for Ornament Plants and Turf Media' by K.A Handreck and N.D. Black
'Saffron, Garlic & Olives' by Loukie Werle
'The Artist's Way' by Julie Cameron
'Italy (II) by Antonello Colonna & Carlo Cracco
'Inside Little Britain' by Marcus Lucas, David Williams and Boyd Hilton
'Cloudstreet' by Tim Winton
'Everyday Vegetarian'
'More Kinky Friedman' by Kinky Friedman
'Fool's Errand' by Robin Hobb
'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller
'The Celestine Prophecy' by James Redfield

Woah! What a collection of books! Aren't they wonderful? And I love that I got to see them before the garage sale too... dontcha love how family does that for the book collector they all know and love? Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, October 19, 2015


I was at my craft group today and saw a trolley filled to the brim with books of all kinds; and wondered how they came to be there. Out the back of the place I go to - a community centre - there are boxes upon boxes of books, all donated by people who don't want them anymore.

Some of them are first editions, some are paperbacks, a lot have never been read and yet, they end up at this place to be sold for less than a dollar.

I sit in my home office absolutely surrounded by books - they are my passion, something I love to collection, something I'd never get rid of (unless I had to and found I didn't need them anymore). However, I was just thinking about it today: what would the world look like if we all turned our home libraries into a digital format; if we ditched the traditional page-turners, the tomes, the lovely books on the bookshelves which would adorn our homes, hallways, living rooms, studies, spare rooms, basements, bedrooms and garages?

How would we cope bringing our children into a world where they'd go into a library where you could download a book onto your Kindle in an empty room with just a few desks for searching and a counter to check out the book/s and then go home and read them until a month later when they'd 'disappear' from your reader to be 'returned' to the library. 

Better still: how would we explain all those retro-style movies and television shows which have those book-stuffed bookcases in the libraries and houses, where people in those shows walked up to those bookcases, reached up and physically pulled on off the shelf, opened its cover and turned the page. I could imagine our children asking, 'What are they doing? Why don't they just tap their reader?' when the show was made in the 1990's and 2000's.

I couldn't imagine a world without physical books in it. There are people who say that books are going to disappear from our world - to be replaced by readers and the digital age. But that's what they've said about vinyls and music; which has done a complete circle... they faded, but didn't vanish. People loved them enough to cause them to make a come-back. Books will never vanish from our lives; and I don't think this would ever happen in my lifetime - to the next. They are just something which will become more refined, more distinct and we won't get rid of because they've been with us for so long, we don't know how to get rid of them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

22 Lessons on the Craft of Writing

As a writer, I'm constantly learning about my craft; and there's so many lessons to go about good writing as well.

Some great writers say to not own a television, while others say it's a great way to find story ideas. Some say that it's best to work completely closed off to the world, while others say it's better to have a little alcove dedicated to your work - an alcove, really?

I have found that I need an office to cut myself off from everything when I'm working. My desk faces away from the door, but the door is always open. I have a cordless phone next to me and my mobile, so I never have to get out of my chair - unless I absolutely have to. 

And the radio is playing all day downstairs so I can just hear it... only just make out the music playing.

However, I have found an article from the Business Insider Australia on the 22 lessons from Stephen King that he believes every writer should take note of when they're writing. It's a good article, and so I thought to share it.

Stephen King on How to Write

Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Birthday Books!

Today, I was out doing my grocery shopping, collecting the mail, going to the chemist and, well, having the busiest day of my week with my car. 

There was a lot of driving involved and when I get out there on the road, my brain goes into auto-pilot. I know that happens to everyone... but not today. Today, I was mindful of where I went as I had to include the post office in my travels. I had to see if my Birthday Buddy from Bookcrossing had posted me my present... and she had!

Poor Froggirlwendy has been struggling with the flu lately - as have most of Brisbane and Queensland - and so I let her know on Facebook that it was perfectly okay if my present was a few days late... just to care for herself first.

But today, I checked the mail, and there was a parcel pick-up card in the PO Box... Yay! There were bills there too, but then, who cares about those? Once paid, they're only going to come around again. Anyway, I took the card inside, and Narelle, at the desk, went and grabbed the biggest postal bag I've ever seen in my life!!!

I opened it but all the precious contents were wrapped up in shiny bronze paper. So, I took it on home to unwrap everything after I put all the veggies away (before going out again to get the groceries from Coles). Well! What a lovely set of presents I have received! A pocket adult colouring book of flowers with pencil and pens to colour with, two books - one off my wishlist, 'Human Instinct' by Robert Winston', and the other is 'Introducing Quatum Theory' by J P McEvoy & Oscar Zarate - and then there's lovely Green Tea with Jasmine and Pear (oh yummo!) and Hemp soap for sensitive skin and a larger item called: 'Herb Grow Kit' where there's 3 little buckets in a saucer and they have their own little place to grow herbs... it's very cool! I love it all! 

What wonderful things to receive for my birthday from such a generous person I've never met except through Bookcrossing and Facebook. Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spring Reading

It's well and truly Spring here in Australia - and yesterday was my 42nd Birthday; where I didn't do anything on here, and not too much even when I got home from the best pizza party at my brother's house; where he owns a huge home made pizza oven!

The temps here are really getting hot and the skies are lovely and blue... and seeing I've got such fair skin, it's the perfect time for me to get in and start in on the Vampire books my friends gave me.

So, what are you getting into in this change of seasons? I might start in on the short stories and work my way up from there. Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Book Buys!

This month, I didn't so much as buy books, but I had books given to me by friends and family.

How very cool is that?

I also did a huge count of my book collection and came up the number: 1,271... which has increased by 25 books since the count... so I'm on my way to having around 2,000 books in my possession in my little office.

However, the books I bought aren't that many, and the books I received are big. I bought only one book from my Craft Group for $1.00 and was given the rest of the books by two of my writing friends - Debbie and Shaun Behan - who are making a sea change up north; and they asked if I wanted their books. I said yes and drove to their place after I finished my volunteer work.

I've listed the books on the sidebar and in the blog post below for you all to see them... I have given the Stephanie Myers ones away - as I'm not a big fan of hers - but there are some big names in the list. From Christopher Pike to Tad Williams to J.R. Ward, the authors I've added to my collection are popular and ones who I've wanted to read for some time over the years.

And now I own quite the collection of their works to just sit and enjoy... and isn't that how it's supposed to be?  Of course it is.

Well, how was your month? Did you accumulate books like I did or did you buy them out of your own spending money? Either way, collecting and enjoying the written word is just the most wonderful thing, isn't it? Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

School Holiday Reading

It's the first week of the Spring School Holidays here in Australia, and I'm just wondering... what are you guys reading?

Okay... for you peeps in the Northern Hemisphere, it's well and truly coming into Autumn/Fall, and so do tell us all what you're getting your nose into as well.

As for me? I'm finally getting my nose into '1984' by George Orwell. I've read the first few chapters and put it down a few times, but this time, I'm determined to finish it.

Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The World Loses Jackie Collins

I just found out on Facebook today that well-known actor from the 1960's and author, Jackie Collins has passed away sadly from Breast Cancer aged 77 in Los Angeles.
Born in Hampstead, England in 1937, Jackie Collins - sister of the famous actor, Joan Collins - had help starting her career from her father who was a theatrical agent to the likes of Shirley Bassey, The Beatles and Tom Jones.

Collins was best known for her brilliantly-written books about Hollywood - filled with sex, power and money-hungry violence all through the plot. Not everyone liked them, and some countries actually banned her books from being sold - but she had a huge fan base and sold millions over her 32 book career.

However, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast Cancer more than six years ago, she kept her illness to herself. Over this time, she wrote another 5 books and in an interview she gave five days ago from her Hollwood home, she was said to have lived her live the way Frank Sinatra did - she had done it all 'her way'. 

Jackie was the younger sister of Joan Collins. She leaves behind three adult daughters, Tracy, Tiffany and Rory. Jackie Collins was a brilliant writer, who entertained us all and she will be greatly missed. May she Rest In Peace.

Jackie Collins' Full Article  

Vampire Reading

Yesterday, I had a wonderful friend of mine give me all of her vampire books! And some of the author's I haven't read, some of them I have... but haven't read their most recent works.

From Christopher Pike to Tad Williams to P.C. Cast, I have a great pile of books to add to my ever-growing collection of books!

'The Black Ridge' by Ander Louis
'The Liberation of Sundrian City' by Ander Louis
'Hunted' by P.C & Kristin Cast
'Time Raiders' by P.C Cast and other authors
'Chosen' by P.C & Kristin Cast
'Untamed' by P.C & Kristin Cast
'Marked' by P.C & Kristin Cast
'Tempted' by P.C & Kristin Cast
'Breathe Again' by Kamy Chetty
'Fragile Eternity' by Melissa Marr
'Shadowplay' by Tad Williams (vol II)
'Shadowrise' by Tad Williams (vol III)
'Lover Mine' by J.R. Ward
'Lover Revealed' by J.R. Ward
'Spirit Bound' by Richelle Mead
'Night World' by L.J Smith - Vol I
'Night World' by L.J Smith - Vol II
'Thirst' by Christopher Pike - Vol I
'Thirst' by Christopher Pike - Vol II
'Great Mysteries' by Pamela Bradley
'Karate for Everyone' by Robert B Sullivan
'Living My Dream' by Kancho Robert Sullivan

Now, the question for this book collector is:  where the heck do I put these new additions? Yep, I'm starting to run out of room in this tiny office - and it is great to have such a lovely, filled library of so many differing books in this little room. I mean, just look at the ones I've acquired only yesterday.  I don't wish to get rid of any right now - as they are ones I want. Well, until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Queen of Crime

Ever wondered how some of authors wrote their books?  How did they get their ideas and wrote them so well, their characters so well, and made it all work that you've read their books over and over it still makes you think - even when the book was published in the 1940's?

Well, I found an article about Agatha Christie - better known as the Queen of Crime.  I'm not much of a fan of her work, but I do love watching the televisions shows of Miss Marple that are on the ABC every Sunday... it's more of a visual thing for me than a written thing that pulls me in with crime shows.

So, here's the link to the article. I hope you all enjoy it! Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Book Count... Woah!

This afternoon, after I turned off the computer, I turned around and looked at my home office and started counting the books.

I didn't plan this, it just happened.

About 45 minutes later, I sat down and calculated the number of books in each bookcase with my mobile and came up with the approximate number of books I have in this room alone:  1,271!

Woah! That's a huge number of books to have piled in a rather orderly fashion in this room alone - and I didn't count the ones in my bedroom or living room or kitchen.

So, have you counted the books in your home office collection? I know this number doesn't seem significant, but seeing I live in a townhouse, and am trying to keep the collection to just one room, I'm doing quite well. And let's see how many of you guys and gals have a great collection of books... do tell us just how many you have lining your walls, halls and bedrooms in your house? Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Book Buys!

I was good this month... really I was!

However, I do enjoy a good bargain, and this month was filled with them; and I have been good enough to not buy books throughout the month, and so not blow my entire budget on something I don't need. But I do enjoy trying to find a place for them in my ever-growing collection (which I will have to sit down and count one of these days!).

On 3rd, August, I was at my Queen Beez Craft Group when I spotted and bought 'The Alphabet Sisters' and 'Family Baggage' by Monica McInerney and 'A Mother's Wish' by Debbie Macomber. I pitched in $2.00 each for those three and brought them home.

Then, on 9th, August, I was at The Crew's monthly meeting and I purchased 'Immortal Espionage' by Debbie Behan - a friend of mine - for $20. I've begun reading this one, but have been busy so it's sitting next to my Reading chair waiting for me to complete it.

So, that's been my month of book buying... not much in the way of spending up big. But I am on the look out for a Wilbur Smith book printed after 2004 with a redhead in the plot. Don't ask me why, I just like redheaded characters and wish to know how other writers use them in their books.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The World Loses Oliver Sacks

Today, we lost a great writer, a great Neurologist and a great man who not only touched many people through his books, but through the films made from his books.

The world lost Oliver Sacks.

Oliver Sacks wrote great books about his patients and their medical conditions - which were mainly ones of the brain, ones we didn't really understand and medical conditions science didn't have answers for. However, he made us feel as though we were closer to knowing more about those conditions just by reading his works.

He was famous for the movie 'Awakenings' where Robin Williams played Oliver and he was working with patients who had Encephalitis Lethargica - a decades-long sleeping sickness. He was able to awaken them with a chemical called L-DOPA. However, they woke into a world they did not recognise due to how long they'd been sleeping; the affects in the movie didn't last as long as the protagonist wished.

Oliver Sacks also wrote other books. One is titled 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat'. However, his most recent study has been closer to home - himself. In 'The Mind's Eye' a series of stories, Sacks studies patients with vision problems, he also describes his own experience with ocular cancer treatment with a giddy excitement.

Over the years, his work has been read by many, ridiculed by the scientific community and held in awe by his fans. However, Oliver Sacks has been working hard on making it easier for us - his audience - to look at medical ideas which are technical sound easier through his voice and his works. He was once called the 'poet laureate of contemporary medicine' by the New York Times, however, he sees himself and his life in a completely different way:

'Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts,” he wrote.
“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers,' he wrote. 'Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.' 

Oliver Sacks will be missed by everyone who has loved his works, his family and friends alike. May he be at rest now.

(NB: Some of this was taken from the Washington Post website).

In The Zone

The zone is a great place for a writer to be in; but it's so difficult to get there. And once there, you don't want to be pulled out of it for anything - visitors, phone calls, a favourite show; nothing.

However, it's the strange things that keep you from staying in the zone for too long. Usually there's the good old toilet break, you get hungry and then there's family coming home from school or work... then you have to break from your worlds of your creation and see them. It's like coming out of a dream, waking up from a long sleep - you're a little out of it, a little sleepy, but once you've sat down to dinner, you're okay.

Just okay... your brain is still churning over what you've written and saved on the computer, or on the typewriter upstairs in your office.

Yeah, that zone is a place of safety you create and it's wonderful to get there and stay there for as long as possible.

However it can also be very destructive as well. It can be the wall, the huge valley, the wedge which builds between a loving couple who started out okay, but then one of them starts writing a book - or a series of books - and the zone becomes something of an interference. 

The writer stops coming to bed at the same time as their partner. 

The writer starts thinking of strange things and keeps lots of notebooks about strange ideas - most of them have nothing to do with the family and a lot to do with off-world planets or fantasies.

The partner feels as though they're being left out of the writer's life - or at the very least a major part of it.

And this is where some of the zone can make people feel as though the writers of the world are lonely people. However, we're not. We have our own worlds which we have created, and we have our own circles of friends and publishing people we communicate with on a regular basis. There's also artists and other people we talk to all the time as well.  

However, writers also have other activities outside their writing which most of the time, they do on their own. I love to garden, cook and paint as well as go driving around my home town just because I feel like getting away from my house - I don't care where I go, so long I get somewhere far away.

But at times, being in the zone is a great thing. I do find it difficult to get myself there most days; so when I am in the zone, I don't budge from my office chair. When the phone rings, it scares the crap outa me and snaps me back to reality. And the best thing about that phone ringing is that when I've hung it up and turned back to the screen and read what I've written, I'm regularly amazed at my work... and I often wonder how it all got there in the first place.

Aaahh, yes, the zone - a great place for the writer to be. 

Until my next post, happy reading.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Logical Unsanity of Books

I've written some posts about bookstores here - and they've been about stores I've been to.

However, I've just heard about one here in Brisbane which I really need to find! It's called Logical Unsanity Bookshed and it's in Bardon; not far from Mt Coot-tha! However, it's a bookstore with a difference.

For one thing it's open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, doesn't have anyone to serve you and has an honour system in place.

Very cool if you ask me!

Also, the owners of it have put suggested prices on their books so you have an idea of what they think you should pay; but you make the final offer yourself... you don't pay what they dictate! How wicked is that?

They do take books from the public and urge you give them books to resell... recycle... and so there's no waste and others get to read what you've read.

I'm going to make a day of it while I'm out book hunting one day and let you all know what I think.

Otherwise, here's the link to where I heard about it. Until my next post, happy reading.