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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Even Better!

I'm doing the next best thing with the home office! I'm doing a big clean out and revamping the room to the next degree!

This is going to be fun! 

This means I will be cleaning it out completely and getting rid of my old corner desk I've had for over 10 years (and it's so unstable it rocks when you lean on it and the front laminated piece is rotting and falling off) and replacing it with a nice op-shopped desk. The saggy, brown bookcase I've also had for years will be tossed out at the dump - simply because the shelves are so bowed they are unusable; and the whole bookcase itself is not plum (aka: square). 

The great thing is that I'll be working on a lot of things in this room and be as brutal with the crap in my home office as I am with the rest of the house. And once I have enough of my things sorted out in this room, and everything organised and enough money put to one side, I'll be asking a few of my family and friends to help me out with pulling apart the desk, and the bookcase and tossing them away.

Then, I have to get in and clean the room, vacuum and dust and make it useable for the next upgrade and then put in the new-ish desk and bookcase and move what needs to be moved back in... and then put in the books again. Oh, that's going to be a big thing to do! But seeing the library was cleaned out recently, I'll have a good lot of work to get done here in the room, right?

So, have you got a reading - or writing - room you've had to update? If so, have you done it successfully? And how did it go? Did it cost you much? How long did it take? Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Library Clean-Out Time!



It's that time of year where I've looked at my library and thought: 'OMG! I've got too many books; and I don't know if I'm going to read this one, or that one, or any of those! I seriously need to clean this library out!'

So, I grabbed a couple of boxes from Bunnings (a big gardening store which leaves their boxes out for anyone to grab) and today, I'm cleaning out my home library.

I usually have a lot of fun doing this because I come across a lot of books I haven't seen in a long time, and usually I wonder how long they've been there and why I never read them. And, if I'm doing this clean-out, it means I'm never going to read them.

So, with the books I'm getting rid of, I'm hoping to sell the good ones off to new homes and give away the other ones in a Big Book Giveaway on Bookcrossing... this will be fun! 

Have you done this to your library over the years? It's very cleansing isn't it? I do it every year to keep my library fresh and know what's there. Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tossed Out

One of my neighbours died recently. I didn't know anything about him - not his name, what he looked like, his age; nothing. I knew he was around 30 years old, died from a heart attack and was Irish, and had only been living in my unit complex for around 2 months before he died alone in his bedroom.

This is no way to die. 

Over the past few weeks, the Irish Embassy have been working with his family to get his remains back home and his belongings as well - and I really wish I had gotten to know him as a neighbour; as I normally say hello to everyone around the place I live because I've lived here for so long, it's just something I do.

But today, I saw something which was really sad: there were a couple of guys who were throwing out his things and this included all of his books. Man, there must have been over a hundred books just being tossed into the recycling bin outside his townhouse. I noticed them being tossed as I drove past and it caused me to turn around and park my car next to one of the other neighbour's places, walk over and ask if I could look through the bin. The guys said yes, and so I started looking.

There were so many titles I was amazed at the collection he had. He read Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, Dick Francis, Michael Connelly, and other great author as well. He was into biographies as well... authorised and unauthorised editions. There were some greats such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Hutchence amongst the collection too; all of which I picked up to add to my collection. Sadly, they all had bookmarks in their pages, places where he had gotten up to and he'll never finish. 

I kinda felt sad as I cleaned the books with anti-bacterial wipes at how nice the books were, and yet he'd never read them again. He had great taste in literature and in murder mysteries and the classics, and yet nobody knew who he was as a person here all because we were too busy to talk to him as a person. The books alone make me feel as though we really should get to know others before anything else goes horribly bad in our lives... and even though reading and books are a good connection, how are people supposed to know this if we don't talk about our passions of the written word openly? 

So, do any of your neighbours know you love to read? Do they know which of your books are you favourites, and who your favourite poet is? If not, why not? Are you too shy to let somebody know you like Poe or that you're into Shakespearean Theatre or even the opera? Why are we so scared to let people know what we love the most - after all, we're all so open to let everyone know what we hate. Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Favourite Places

Reading has taken up a big chunk of my life; and over the past few years, I've been working on my arts - which has taken me away from my love of the written word.

However, I've found that reading a little before I go to bed at night has become quite a good habit for me because I totally enjoy doing a little reading just before the light goes out. 
But in the past my bedside lamp was too dim to do this and I couldn't sit up in bed to read - yep, I was angling myself on my stomach towards my reading lamp to read; very uncomfortable. Recently, I found these bigger lamp shades at the local op-shop and with my Dad's help, we got them to fit onto my current bases. Now, I'm getting back into my before bed reading again... how cool is that?

Last night, I caught up with 'The Haunted Bookstore' by Christopher Morley - a book I haven't read since last February because of its complexity and language due to it being written and published just after the first World War. And I totally enjoyed reading it without straining my eyesight. 

So, where is your favourite place to read? Is it your home library? Or out in your back yard on a nice cool afternoon? Or if you haven't had time lately, do you also read in bed before you turn out that light late at night? I would love to know. Until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Whatcha Reading?

It's coming up to the middle of Winter here in Australia, and the middle of Summer in the northern hemisphere and I'm wondering what you're all reading.

Our Winter is just getting into the cooler nights and days. We've only just had a thunderstorm (how weird is that to have a thunderstorm in the middle of Winter?) and I'm loving the colder nights. 

But I'm reading some good books now. 

Yep, I've got my nose back into the pages of reading again. 

'Thinking Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman 

A psychology book about how the human brain sees things in two ways. I've seen this book in bookstores, but it was so expensive, and I really wanted to get it. But then, I spotted it in an op-shop and got it for the right price of $3.00! It's a great find and so far a great read. 

'Mr Mercedes' by Stephen King

Well, okay, I love Sai King at the best of times, but this is a murder mystery and I do find them kind of difficult to wrap my brain around. King does great work at this in this first of three books and I'm sticking with it; as I really do want to get through all three of them - yep, I do love a well-written book. And Sai King writes a great story. 

'The Shining' by Stephen King

I'm a sucker for my favourite author... and also don't mind being scared by him either. But I have heard the book and the movie of the same name are two totally different animals. So, I think I'll read the book first and watch the movie on Netflix afterwards and see what Kubrick did to turn it into a movie. 

Well, okay, that's it for my reading material so far this Winter. Besides reading knitting patterns (please, that's not reading, that's frustration in abbreviated letters) and squinting at dates and scribblings of my Grandpa's journals (a little more torture than pleasure on my eyes), I'm reading some good works. What are you reading this Winter/Summer? Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Dreams Into Stories or Books

Being a writer, I've often been a person who has been told 'jeez, you're so creative! Where do you get your ideas from?' 

Well, everywhere. But I hesitate to tell people that a lot of my ideas come from my dreams I have a night... and this is why I love to get my butt to bed and sleep at the right times. And I hate to be woken by anything outside my house - anyone who isn't part of my life - as that interrupts my dreams, which may make it into my books or stories. 

I have often been able to wake up and write down my dreams into Dream Journals and wait for the right time for the mojo to hit me and the dream to turn itself into a story - then the fun happens! I have the fun and games of getting my dream which is all written down from my imagination and make it into something which everyone can read.

So, my question to you out there is: do you do the same thing? Do you write down your dreams and at some point in time, have the joy of writing them into stories or books, like I do? Well, it's always a lot of fun doing it this way. Until my next post, happy reading and writing!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Working Hard

You know, no matter what a writer works on, it's never an easy task. You may be working on a fantasy novel, and you still have to do research into costume, food, historical fact and weaponry. 

With my Grandpa's journals/diaries, it's the same thing. I've had to Google a lot of things he's mentioned in the 1930's and yet am still learning about farming equipment which has been updated over time. This also includes everyday terms which were used back then and aren't used now.

For example: 'Flicks' or 'Pictures' is now called 'the movies'. It took me a little while to get used to those first two terms, but it's something people did on Friday nights. However, 'Eisteddfods' were around then more than ever; and my Grandpa and his mouth organ band took part in them all the time; so long he put in the entry forms in time. 

I'm finding that I'm forever looking on YouTube about how they're using fencing equipment - like strainers and struts (and for somebody who's never put up a fence in their lives, I'm learning new things about all of the things my Grandpa used to do for a living). 

In between the gardening work, fencing, cattle herding, and biking between Warwick, Allora and Cecil Plains (yes, all on a bike), he's was dating my Grandmother, going to fellowship, church twice on Sundays, Band practice on Thursdays, and following the cricket on the wireless (radio) as well. He also went out to a few dances, yarned to a couple of friends and enjoyed his early mornings. But my Grandpa was a hard worker. 

He put a lot of humour in his diaries too; something I missed out on when I was a youngster, but I'm seeing now. I now wish I could have spoken to him more. But, it's a good thing I'm doing this - and learning so much about his life and him as person now, as well as how life was back in the 1930's. 

So, how is your writing going - if you write as well? Do you love research, or do you love the invention part of the book? Until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Haven't Been Around... I know.

I'm sorry... really.

But the reason why I haven't been here - or any of my other blogs (go and check, they're kinda blah too) - is because I have been busily writing something.

Yes, I'm writing again - but not what you think.

I'm looking at getting my late-Grandfather's diaries computerised. I tried this before, and my computers crashed each time... this time, I've been going for a few weeks, and typing faster than ever, and it's all been going better than the last two times I've attempted it.

I think it's because the technology is better than it was years ago, and I'm more confident than I was before; and I have some idea of how it will look as a finished product. 

I have learned so much about my Grandpa in his early years. He was such an innocent teenager when he came out to Australia... and yet, he worked his heart out to get where he did in the world. He was so far from home, from family, from his Mum and his brothers and sisters and his Mother Country - England - and yet, he never forgot why he came to Australia: to carve out a better life for himself.

I've had to use magnifying glasses to read some of his writing - as a bit of it is so tiny and he wrote in pencil (which has faded over time) and fountain pen (which blots at the worst of times) and ball point pen (which was very expensive in the 1930's). So, using a magnifying glass has saved my eye sight a lot. I'm also writing out 2 diaries out at the same time. There's one I'm writing during the day - which is really small and I can only see in the daylight - and then there's a bigger one I can see better at night with the bedroom light behind me. I still have to use the magnifying glass on the bigger one at times because I can't always make out words.

And speaking of words, I'm learning new words. For example: Sundercutter. No, that's not a spelling mistake. This is a machine which ploughed fields and was built between 1926 and 1932. It wasn't a very expensive piece of machinery, but it was useful... however it broke easily and had to be fixed all the time; thus the reason why it was discontinued. Then there was Shiftshanking - which sounds either rude or made-up, but it's not. It's a machine which is now called Hay Baler. It did the same thing as it does now, but it was the first models way back when. My grandpa used these two machines - along with a combiner - and he built fences, gardens, bird cages, mended watches, bought a motor cycle with a side car and did many other things. And like I said, it's a real education learning about somebody who lived out in the middle of the country and yet I live in a city. 

Have you learned something new like this about a relative or family lately? I find this kind of thing fascinating. Until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Writers Meet-Up

On Saturday, I went to a writers meet-up for the first time in around 3 years. Being an introvert, I was very nervous about being out in a public place with people I didn't know.

This sounds strange for a somebody who writes for the public, but really, writers aren't known to be people who know how to conduct themselves all that well in public. I don't really; as I'm more of a people-watcher. I observe human behavior to put into my books, than talk. But then again when I do talk, I find myself babbling and, well, I feel as though I talk too much. 

So, meeting people somewhere isn't something I normally do. And there was only one person in the group I knew personally as a friend. 

I arrived there at the Hyperdome early by around 15 minutes and waited outside the cafe. Man, it was so crowded! So, I jumped online and asked who was there - seeing I didn't know who these people were - and found none of them had arrived. It was around 5 minutes later that I began to feel self-conscious about being there on my own. But I waited, and about a minute or two later, Rebecca showed. Talk about relief! I told her I almost left because I was feeling like people were staring at me.
She didn't think was unusual, as she had been talking to another writer, who was showing up, and this other writer told her that I'd be really early and probably leave if somebody didn't show right on time.

You see, being out on my own and meeting people two different things. If I'm out on my own all day, I have no deadline; and I can do whatever I want. But, if I have to meet people, it's different. I feel self-conscious because I have to be somewhere with people I either know or I don't. 

Well, there were three others who showed up at the meet-up, besides Rebecca and I, and we all had something to eat and some coffee (which wasn't all that great). We talked about books we were working on, how many books we had written since we last met-up, how we find out characters, where we best work, and how we work through the dreaded Writer's Block (which I'm just getting through the worst of right now). 
We did have a first-time writer, who was full of questions on how each of us worked our stories and each of us told her how we got into it all. I told her about how I got to know my characters through an interview process I call 'The Red Chair', which works for me, but may not work for everyone. It works up a dossier for my characters and makes them more real.

But then, before we knew it, hours had passed and, one by one, we all had to go. I had volunteer work that afternoon. So, I had to go and run an errand or two before I did drive there. Overall, I'm glad I went on Saturday. It got me out of the house, talking to other writers and I did get myself some great ideas for my new book I'm currently working on. 

So, have you been to a writers meet-up? If so, how did it go? Until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The King Trilogy!

I was out and about at the Mount Gravatt Bookshop the other day with a friend... and what a store! I haven't been there in ages; but she had never been there, so what a great place to take her. And being a Bookcrosser, she was so happy to see a real bookstore, instead of one which was moving online.

Well, we parked in the dingy car park and walked along the newly-finished footpath, and found the biggest store there - yep, the Mount Gravatt Bookshop - on Carrara Street, Mount Gravatt - and I walked in, asking for 'The Horror section, please.' and well, I found three books sitting there waiting for me to pick them up!

'Mr Mercedes', 'Finders Keepers' and 'End of Watch' all by Stephen King - my favourite writer. These are detective novels; thrillers with his distinctive touch of horror intertwined as you read. I read the first chapter of 'Mr Mercedes' and found myself completely hooked! I can't wait to sit down this afternoon and get into that book again!

So, which one of these books is your favourite? Have you read them all, or just one? And which Stephen King book got you on the path of reading his works? 

And if you're not a fan of his works, who do you read? And how did you get into reading that author's works? I'd love to know. Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Finally! I'm reading again!

I've finally finished reading a book this year! Yes, it's taken me almost 3 months to read a book! That's awful, isn't it?

Well, since my best friend took her own life last year, I just haven't read anything, or written anything. And I'm having problems concentrating on starting anything new that's written as well. So, finishing a book - my first one for the year - is good. And it was 'Elevation' by Stephen King; one of his new ones! 

Now, seeing I'm still a bit of raw nerve with my grief, and am having good days, and a bout of bad days, I'm sticking with thinner books for now - which means I'll be knocking over some good novellas and shorter novels this year hopefully. 

What do you get in and do when you can't get into reading? All last year, when I couldn't get my head into a book, I was painting at art school. I knocked out about 4 paintings last year - and for me to do that many really meant I wasn't in a good place. But my writing suffered. I also completely renovated my backyard; spending over $300 on it through Winter, just to get myself outside and away from the computer.

So, do tell, what do you do when you've been suffering with depression, grief, or other emotional problems in your life? Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Creatively Blocked

I must apologise for the lack of posts in here lately. I've been creatively blocked in this way.

Since my dear friend took her life last year in May, I haven't been able to write more than 2,000 words - yeah a Flash Fiction - and even they're difficult to get out onto the screen. However, I'm looking into how to work on myself and figure out how to get through this block.

Now, I've been blocked before! Yep, I got Writer's Block when I had a guy leave me and take off to South Australia and flatly wouldn't let me go with him! I seriously loved him, and he just went, leaving me here with a broken heart - and well, I couldn't write anything creatively for around two and half years. 
But this is a death, and I'm not sure how long I'm going to be stuck with Writer's Block. Sure I can write non-fiction work, that's on fact, but fantasy and made-up stuff? Well, I really am struggling with that part of writing; when normally I just dive right in. 

I've been asking friends on Facebook for help with how they work through their Writer's Blocks, and they've been helpful with it all. I've got a few books on prompts which I'll look at and see how I go with them. But it looks like I'll have to talk to a therapist about this problem I've had for almost a year. 

You see, I call it a problem because I seriously want to write another book. The last book I finished was 'Fry Nelson - Bounty Hunter' and that was a trilogy. It's time to get my butt back into another lot of work like that and my head into my writing again - now I'm getting good with my painting, it'd be a good thing for me to work on my writing.

Have any of you had a creative blockage like me? How did you deal with it? Leave a comment or two and let me know. Until my next post, happy reading and writing.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Whatcha Reading?

Well, school has just gone back, and Valentine's Day has just been. And I'm wondering, what are you reading right now? 

Me? I'm reading one of Stephen King's new books he published last year titled 'Elevation'. It's a great little book and I'm halfway through it so far. I'm finding it a great read and totally enjoying it so much that I'm hoping to get into another one of his books soon to kick start myself into reading more than what I did last year - which was just one book. 

How pitiful is that?

Well, do tell, what are you getting your nose into right now? And do you plan your reads for the year? Or are you a pantser when it comes to reading? Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Selected Chapters

It's the Australia Day Long Weekend; and I've been busy! But seeing how scorchingly hot and horrible it's been this weekend - and this month - here in Australia, it's kinda hard to be busy all the time. So, I've been making sure I'm busy only during the times it matters: early morning and late afternoon.

Yep, it's been dreadfully hot every other time of the day for the past two months. 

So, on Saturday, I spent some of that day painting the sides of a painting and fixing it up to exhibit in March. There's another one I want to show in the same exhibition, but that one's already to show - so I'm ahead of my game there!

Anyway, doing that didn't take up all of Saturday. By around 11am, I was done and dusted with that painting and I onto the computer, and the internet for a while - but there wasn't much happening there. So, I decided to do what I've been meaning to do; and that is putting my Flash Fictions into particular chapters - or sections - of their own. 

At first, I just picked out the basics, and then as the hours went by, I added onto those chapters. It turns out I write a lot about Hell and Demons, Heaven and Angels, and I write a lot of really weird shit; and some really not bad sci-fi (if not a little on the far side of the galaxy kinda stuff). I also steal a lot of my themes from Star Wars, Supernatural, DC Comics and other common themes too, where I really don't mean to. But really, if you're going to steal a theme, you gotta steal from the very best, right?

Well, it took me around 6 hours to get all my stories all in their right folders and places... and by the time I was finished it was around 5:30pm. I was tired, hungry, thirsty and felt as though I had sat too close to the television for far too long! 

I have been writing Flash Fictions since 2013; and there were so many to sort through... and now I'm happy to just write them and put them into their own category as well as save them to their year on the flash drive. It's so much easier when it's organised like this. Well... that's my weekend. Today, I'm just chilling out and enjoying my Monday. It's still a stinking hot day, and I'm not fussed about how I spend it. How are you spending the weekend? Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Short Reads or Longer Ones?

You know, I love to read just about any book there is out there. However, the bigger books are always the most wonderful to get lost in and the better-written most of the time - as I find there's a small percentage of them which are badly written.

I do love 'The Lord of the Rings' by JRR Tolkien, as it's a great adventure of a totally different world, built by a brilliant man who wanted to take us all on that journey with the one ring which ruled them all... of course that can transfer into the real world too. 

I'm a big fan of the series of books as well. I'm talking about 'The Dark Tower Series' by Stephen King. I'm still trudging through book 4 and enjoying the snippets I get to read just before bed - when I get to read after my long days writing, cleaning or painting. 

Then, there's the shorter books I dive into, read and enjoy and they end way too soon. Okay, they have said all they want to say, but still, they leave me hankering for more. 
And along with the shorter novels are the complex, short novels. They cram so much into those pages and yet I still feel as though there's something not there, not finished - and that makes me want to search the world for what I'm missing out on with those books; when really I'm not missing out on anything. The book is complete... but to me it's not.

So, this causes me to wonder: what books keeps you reading, looking and searching for the perfect read - what is your whale, your Mt Doom? Is it the shorter books, the long, sprawling series or the whopping big tomes you're into? For me, it's a little of all three. Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Art Books

The other day, I was out and about at Browns Plains picking up art gear from a dear friend of mine who had offered 'some canvases' for me paint on. 

Some! Well, she gave me 16 unused canvases! Wow! I was stunned; and still am stunned at how many there are... she also gave me two table easels and a big stack of books from China! 

Now, a lot of books are published in China, but these were actually Chinese printed books in Chinese about the Chinese Art of Watercolour. It looked like about 20 books, but as of today, I was wrong! I sorted them out and there's about 35!

I was thinking of giving them away to the Logan Artists Association; however after looking at them more closely, I thought to keep them - seeing they're in their own sets of 5's and 10's. It's amazing to just see the beauty of a totally different culture and how they work the paintbrush and the pencil - and how their language is so different to ours. And really, how could I give away art books when I've never learned how to work my art into their ways - seeing the Chinese and Japanese all tell stories through their art in similar ways. Now, this is something I'd love to learn to do in my paintings... tell a story in the same way I do in words. That takes talent.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Reading Goggles!

Over the New Year, I haven't read any books... have struggled to read any knitting patterns and have had to enlarge the texts on my phone. The reason being is because all my glasses have been away getting new lenses.

Yep, I've been without my glasses for anything and it's been double vision and blurry vision for the past three weeks!

Well, that was until today when I finally picked up my three pairs of glasses from my optometrist and I could finally read something tonight for the first time in ages - a knitting pattern without squinting or trying to stretch my arm longer than it should be (stop laughing, it does happen).

Tonight, I'm going to pick up one of my current reads and read some of it before turning out the light... oh, it's going to be wonderful to finally get in some reading at long last! Until my next post, happy reading! It's going to be for me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Hey! It's 2019 and I'm happy to say that I'm getting into new and used books, and books which have been given to me, books which I've written and books which are just been sitting around my place lookin' at me, gatherin' dust...

Yep, this is the year for me to catch up on my reading and reference my arts, my cooking, my gardening... read up on what I can do with herbs, spices and how to grow plants and how to work on things with paint and drawings.

This is the year where I'll be utilising books to the full of their extent! My non-fiction section will be pulled apart, searched and read and found out about and loved - unlike in previous years - and I may even give some of it away... ya never know!

So, what are you hoping to do this year? Which books are you whale? Which books did you finish last year? Which books did you get for Christmas and have been delving into over this holiday season? What books are you going to read - as you have promised yourself over and over from the past years and have never reached up onto your bookcases and pulled down, opened that cover and fallen into those lovely printed pages of another world? 

Aah, yes! Where are you going to go this year, without actually leaving your home? 

This is what I'm asking. Do tell us. We'd all love to know.