change, February, lessons, life, monday check in, planning, reading

February, forward

After my last post, I made some changes – the biggest of these was having an action plan. Plans are so very important. They give you steps to follow even when you don’t feel like doing much. They help you feel pro-active and in control. I’m a big fan of plans, and eternally grateful to my good friend Meryl Stenhouse for helping me to come up with this one.

As a result of this plan, I am already seeing an improvement in my mood – see, just having a plan helps! I didn’t even wait til today to get writing! I started on Friday, with just 300 words. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can tell you this: I’d rather write even 300 words than nothing. It’s an achievable goal, even on the worst of days, and a jumping off point on the good ones. When I told myself I needed to get back into the habit of writing, I gave myself no goal, and so I flailed. I expected a lot, but never gave myself a chance to work up to it. Not only is 300 words totally doable, but if I can get them done before lunch it means I have heaps of time to get other things done.

post swimModeration. Balance. I’ve struggled with those things so for long, but I think this time I might actually be coming at it the right way. I’m writing. I’m exercising. I’m taking care of myself. I’m reading books. And I’m spending lots of quality time with my family – and not feeling frustrated, because I am actually fitting everything in!

I went to the Dr this morning, and she supports me in reducing my medication. We’re taking it slowly, and I’ll check back in with her in a month to see how I’m doing. I’m not so nervous about it now, because I think this is the right call (and I’m totally okay if it’s not. This is a journey, and I know it takes time and nothing is certain). I feel really good though, and I hope that at some point in the future I won’t need the meds. If I do, that’s fine, but if I don’t, then that’s cool too. I’m glad I tried them out, because they helped me through a rough patch, and helped me to find myself again.

Anyway, this is kind of all over the place, sorry! To sum up, I have a good feeling about February. I’ll be adding a second post to the week, so you can expect a ‘Friday, I’m in love…’ post in a few days time, on, you know, Friday. Looking forward to sharing with you some of the awesome things, which will help keep me feeling grateful 🙂

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editing, Goodreads, January, publishing, reading, writing

Mid-January update

How is it already the middle of January??? And how has it taken me three days to get around to writing this post? lol

2015 has started out well. So far I have already finished writing the first draft of Alyssa’s novel, finished a round of edits on my next release (more on that later), edited one novel for someone else, and am partway through editing another. Critiqued yet another novel, read several books, spent a lot of time lying on the deck in the sun (reading), swimming in rivers, and hanging out with the kids.

Pretty epic, really.

Despite how busy all of that sounds, I actually feel fairly relaxed. The ‘reading on the deck in the sun’ is a big part of this. I can’t remember the last year when I had time to do this. To just relax and unwind. To disappear into a book – not critique it, not edit it, just enjoy the story. Goodreads would suggest it was 2011, because I read over 100 books that year, and since then it’s been pretty dismal. I’m very much looking forward to reading a lot more books in the months to come. I feel like I’m on holiday, and this is all basically because I’m not studying any more. I knew it was stressing me out, but I had no idea just how much!

Thank goodness I am done with that 😉

I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in the near future, but will save that for another post! For now, I am off for a bush walk in the rain with a friend.

authors, in the spirit, Kotahi Bay, New Zealand, publishing, reading, self publishing

Officially Published!

In The Spirit is now available for purchase. WOO! (You can find links here)

When the email came through from Amazon yesterday afternoon I had one of those goofy ear-to-ear grins. It was displaced after people told me that they still couldn’t get it… but, it’s all done now and people have it on their devices, and one of my old gaming buddies has even read it already!!! AND she enjoyed it and wants more. So, YAY! (Huh, since writing this, I’ve heard from several more people who have read it now too – yay!)

I have more. Lots more. There will be at least another 4 books set in Kotahi Bay – full novels, that is. I may write some more novellas, but we’ll see how we go 😉

Anyway, enough about me! You must be so sick of seeing my cover that I thought I’d share some others with you. A bunch of my writing crew have been publishing work just this week, so here’s a shout-out to them in order of release dates:

Richard Parry brings you his second book, Upgrade:

Mason’s job is simple: company asset protection and acquisition, no questions asked. He’s good at what he does, and it’s given him everything he’s ever wanted. The best looks money can buy, the spacious apartment that only comes with knowing the right people, and top shelf bionics from Apsel Federate. When he meets a lost girl from a dying world, an off-grid rock star, and a slave lord who wants to own them all, he needs to remember what the life he lives has taken away. Lost to corporate interest and the soft line between incentive and crime, Mason is trying to learn what it means to be truly human.

I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my summer reading list. It’s a hefty tome, and going off how much I enjoyed his first book, Night’s Favour, I know I’m gonna love this.

Next up we have Catherine Mede, with her debut novel Cursed Love, a romance set in our lovely New Zealand.

A family curse.
A lifetime of grieving
Jinny Richards past and future are about to collide. Will she survive?
At 18, Virginia ‘Jinny’ Richards was a drug addict who fell in love with Dean Bradford. By 20, Dean was dead. Jinny believes the family curse is to blame, and never wants to fall in love again. She has worked hard to hide her past and now has a job as a successful Insurance Assessor.
Ethan Montgomery lost his wife to breast cancer. He’s mourned for three years and now he’s ready to move on. He understands Jinny’s pain but he wants the feisty Jinnyand nothing, not even a curse, will stand in his way.
When work throws them together, loving Ethan is the farthest thing from Jinny’s mind. He’s tardy and egotistical, even if he is good looking and makes her weak at the knees.
Things get further complicated when Steven Bradford turns out to be the client, bringing up the heartache and pain Jinny has carefully buried for eighteen years.
Will she find love a second time around? Or will the family curse claim another victim?

And that brings us to my release day buddies: T.G. Ayer, releasing the fourth installment, Dead Wrath, of her Valkyrie novels.

Ragnarok is upon the worlds, and the time to fight is now. They come from all of the Nine Realms. Dark Elves, Dragons, Frost Giants, Elves … They all come to fight for Odin.
And they answer to Valkyrie Brynhildr.
While Bryn grieves, struggling to cope with Sigrun’s death, she knows too there is no time for tears. Odin is still a shade of himself and though there is no sign of Loki in all of the Nine Realms – Thor knows he is hiding in Midgard. As the Warriors gather, Bryn must head the offensive and enter the Human Realm in search of the Trickster and his henchman.
The war is silent and it rages all across the planet.
Ragnarok is here …
In this, the 4th thrilling instalment in the Valkyrie series, Bryn takes the war to home turf. From New York to London, Interpol to CIA, Bryn and her team risk their lives to stop Loki. And to prevent the end of the world.
And, last but not least, Michael Wayne Griffith, with his debut novella, The Runaway Train, which introduces the main character from his future series, Selena Montana.
On the verge of leaving Montana to join the FBI, Detective Selena Marrenger is dragged into one last case when a boy vanishes into the creeping fog around a bus station. With her partner, Kathryn, the two embark on a mission to uncover the mystery behind the young boy’s disappearance. When the suspects begin to pile up, the investigators discover a hidden truth far more sinister than they could have imagined.
The clock is ticking. Will Selena find who is responsible before it’s too late?
Right, and that’s me for the morning! Hope you’re having a great December 🙂
books, reading

Print books and the rise of an old desire

Since finishing study, I have accumulated a pile of paper books. Now, I’ve been an e-book convert or close to 3 years now, so this is a strange occurrence for me. I (hate to confess this but have to…) actually do not have a bookshelf. *waits for the gasps and outrage*. Hear me out, please? I have kids, and in their early years they liked nothing more than to trash my book shelves. I had two. The moment I was out of the room for anything, the books would end up all over the floor and I just couldn’t stand it. Those book defenseless books 😦

So, I packed up the ones I couldn’t part with and kept them in boxes under the bed, and I donated the rest to charity. The bookshelves became toy shelves and I no longer had to worry that any books would be destroyed in the making of my small people.

IMG_20141016_072540564That was about 5 years ago.

And now that they are all substantially older, I am beginning to think it might be time to start a new bookshelf*. Break open the boxes and set my books free. Because, as much as I love to read on my kindle, as much time as I’ve spent teaching them that it isn’t just a book, but a whole library, I don’t think they really get it. Since I’ve started reading print books again, they have started realizing that I do spend a fair bit of time reading. The kindle appears to be just another ‘screen’ as far as they are concerned lol. So, lead by example right?

Now, onto the books…. I grabbed The Strain a few months ago because it was going for 50c at the library. And then I went to the Warehouse on Saturday morning to find they were getting rid of books for a ridiculous $1.47. So I grabbed Doctor Sleep, Cujo, and Grim. And then yesterday Carnival of Souls(officially Carnival of Secrets) arrived in the post from the lovely Book Chatter Cath. I’m looking forward to doing a lot of reading!!!

*Naturally, the kids have bookshelves, two, jam packed with books.

authors, reading, writing

Tales to Terrify – the Baby Teeth special

Check it out! If you’re into podcasts or prefer listening to your stories rather than reading them, the special Baby Teeth episode of Tales to Terrify can be found here!

My story ‘The Dead Way’ is the last, and Dan Rabarts calls it ‘terminally creepy’ and worth the wait. So get to it!!! I started listening yesterday, but couldn’t get through my own story. I’m torn between being seriously freaking excited (hearing your story read by someone else elevates it to new levels!!) and finally realizing why other people think it’s creepy!!!!! No wonder I’ve been getting some funny looks 😉 

Go on, have a listen. It’s deliciously creepy. 

 

authors, interview, life, reading, writing

A Few Assorted Things

Hey! Long time no blog right? I’ve been having a bit of a rough patch and everything is a tad hard right now. I’m in the final slog of my Post Grad Diploma (6 weeks to go!!! maybe less, I’m trying not to think about that too hard!). There isn’t an awful lot of the good writing stuff going on while I try to hold myself together and knock out final assignments, but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and I can’t wait to get there!!!

So in the meantime, here are a couple things you might be interested in!

The lovely Leigh K. Hunt has Tijuana Nights, the first book in her Nights series, for free at Amazon right now! GO grab it quick because I think it closes really soon. 

Also, the Audio version of Baby Teeth is out now thanks to the awesome people at Dynamic Ram Audio Productions! If you have something creepy a kid has said to share, go comment on this post to have a chance to win your own copy!

And finally, I’m sharing a link for a post I’ve not read the entirety of, but it’s an interview with Beth Morey who is a very talented artist and writer. Her fierce determination to grow and become, and her passion for life are things I find really inspirational. Plus, she’s just a great person. 

I hope everyone else is doing great! I’m hoping to have some fun writing related stuff to share with you in the near future, but for now it’s back to the grindstone – hey, maybe I can finish these last assignments early? lol How can it almost be the end of August?? 

life, reading, writing

Winter is coming

GoT-LogoWe’ve had the heater on a bit over the last few days. Winter is on it’s way and the temperatures are lower than pleasant. It feels like Autumn was fleeting; many trees are yet to drop their leaves and yet there is fresh snow on the mountain.

Of course, ‘winter is coming’ has another connotation as well, and it’s with a great sense of achievement that I can finally say I am all caught up on Game of Thrones!! Hubby and I have spent the last 6 weeks catching up – right from mid season one, where he left off watching it the first time around. That’s something like 30 hours of GoT, in less than two months.

It’s been many years since I read the books (and I can’t quite remember where in the series I am up to), but I remember lots of key moments and it has been awesome watching the characters come to life on the screen. I think season three was my favourite so far, and I adored Jamie and Brienne’s banter most of all, coming in just ahead of the Hound and Arya.

I really admire G.R.R. Martin his ability to portray a character as unlikable or ‘bad’, and then find ways to redeem them or show other sides of them which make you actually like them. There are very few evil characters (Joffrey being the primary one!), and I love the complexity and range of characters presented. Very much looking forward to watching them as they come out now, and not having to worry about spoilers!

Do you have a favourite character or pairing? Anything in particular that sticks with you?

life, reading

RIP Kindle keyboard

WP_000462Well, I knew this day would come sooner or rather – I’d actually thought it would be sooner. My Kindle keyboard has slipped from this world into the next 😦 It was a good reading device. The one that bridged that gap between paper and digital books, that got me reading in vast quantities again and made me fall in love with the e-format.

For weeks now it’s been freezing up, crashing and rebooting, and for the last three days I’ve been unable to get any kind of response from it no matter what I tried. I really wish they put more effort into creating sturdy piece of technology, I used to the Best Gaming Keyboards that can handle teenage rage. This is disappointing.

Thankfully, I was able to get a replacement! I put the order through Monday and my new friend arrived today. It’s a lot smaller and I think will take a little adjusting to, but I’m just pleased to have a new device and be able to get back to reading!!! Bring on the books!!!!!!!! I’d have loved to have upgraded to the Paperwhite, but this shiny new Touch will do for now 😉

reading

Currently reading…

I’ve been reading a few web comics this week – not something I normally have time for, but I came across Blindsprings and really liked the idea of a ‘princess’ who didn’t want to be ‘rescued’. Which led me to stumbling across Namesakes, which is pretty intriguing as well. I love the idea of there being multiple ‘Dorothy’s who come to Oz to conquer evil.

Blindsprings is

an all ages comic, featuring magic, secret societies and hidden gateways to fantastic places. The comic should appeal to anyone who loves Ghibli or Disney animated movies!

Here is the Blurb from Namesakes:

Namesake is the story of Emma Crewe, a woman who discovers she can visit other worlds. She finds out that these are places she already knows – fantasy and fairy lands made famous through the spoken word, literature and cinema. Her power as a Namesake forces her to act as a protagonist in these familiar stories as she figures out how to get home.

But as she travels, she discovers that those controlling her story have their own selfish goals in mind – and her fate is the key to everyone’s happy ending.

Join Emma, her sister Elaine and their friends as they tumble down the rabbit hole.

If you like, adventure, humor, stories of friendship, fairy tales and fantasy, this is the webcomic for you.

Definitely worth checking out!

authors, reading

What’s on my reading list this year

Last month I posted about my Goodreads Challenge for the year, a mere 30 books (and I’m already behind, at just 3 so far!). Having such a low number really means that I will need to be a bit more choosy when it comes to what I’m reading. It means I will be more inclined to set things aside if they aren’t capturing me, and it means doing a little planning.

I’m usually the kind of gal who grabs books willy nilly, and I’m definitely guilty of only reading a fraction of the books that I purchase. In an ideal world, I will read them all one day, but time is short and getting shorter.

So, what do I HAVE to read this year?

Naturally, my text books: The Essentials of Family Therapy, and The Handbook of Transcultural Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Now that we’ve got the academic things out of the way, I MUST read The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig. I loved the first two books in the series and am very excited to read the third. Miriam Black is a fantastic character and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to this time around.

I also have got to get my hands on a copy of The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys was my first ever Stiefvater book and I just adore her wonderful way with words. Really looking forward to reading book 2.

I’d also love to read Cress, book 3 of the Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer. I liked the first two, after not really expecting to, and she’s definitely an author whose work I’ll be following.

It’s nice to know there are  a few series that I’m keen to follow on with, though now I’m a bit sad that I’m not branching out or have any new authors whose work I want to line up. I’m going to have to go on the hunt.

You can help me here – I’ve recently been reminded that I love a good serial killer book. Not specifically police oriented stuff, but you know, people, serial killers, figuring out who it is stuff. I’d like to read some more of this type of book, with a futuristic earth setting if anyone knows who writes that kind of stuff. I’m planning on finally writing Saving Tomorrow next year, and I need some inspiration.

Delaney’s story has been four years in the making already and once I’m clear of study I want to give another shot. The main thing that has been holding me back is that futuristic writing needs a different kind of world building to fantasy, or even things set on other planets, and I know that I have to bring the city to life in order to make the most of this story.

So, suggestions welcome! Cities, action, murder, killers, grey areas, futuristic earth. Gimme gimme gimme.

Thanks 😉

Also, if there is anything that you think I should desperately be reading, let me know. I’m totally open to finding some new authors to adore, though my reading habits are often dictated by the rather small size of my book budget. I’ve got a few books lined up for the near future from some writer friends, but you can never have too many books, right?