Monday, December 31, 2012

That Was the Year it Was - Thanks 2012

What a fab year it's been!   Thank you to everyone who has made 2012 so wonderful.  New and old friends, both in real life and online have been so awesome, helping out when we lost our other car, giving support when I was doubtful about my writing and by just being there :)  I heart you all xxxx

Some highlights and of course the odd lowlight!


Mr Paleo finished Grade 4 and Mr Maker finished Grade 1, both doing extremely well, making their parents (and teachers) proud.

Mr Comedy completed his last year at kindergarten, ready to be a big school boy in 2013.  I don't know whether to be happy or sad.  Mainly happy.  Or sad.  No, mainly happy.  I think.

Mr Xbox quit his old job after getting a new job, as it usually goes.   Not sure if how much happier he is.  I think he'd just like to win the lotto, actually!

We lost our little car after Mr Xbox had someone pull out in front of him.  We're still deciding whether to replace it or not. 

Mr Xbox became the local Cub Scout leader.   I'm still trying to lift my mouth up from the floor from that news!  Mr Maker joined Mr Paleo in the cub scout troop.   


I finally finished the seemingly endless drafts of  Flirting with Magick and handed the final manuscript to an editor, got a cover designed and have created a Facebook  Page and  Goodreads Pages for both myself and the book

I participated in 12x12 in 2012 Picture Book Challenge.   Only did about 3 drafts though.

Participated in Nanowrimo and managed to complete it by writing a rough draft for Winter Park. 

So I soberly lift my homemade Baileys to 2012 and welcome in 2013 with hopefully the same amount of class!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Flirting with Magick Valentines Day release / Cover Reveal

My very first novel, Flirting with Magick is now with the editor and is set for release on the rather appropriate day of Valentines Day - that is Feb 14 2013.

As it's obvious that I'm not particularly good at blogging regularly, the cover has already been revealed on my Facebook page as I had a bad case of Got Overly Excited and Couldn't Shut Up but not officially here as yet, unless you might have seen it on the Flirting with Magic page of my blog.

Anyway here 'tis!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding What Works

I think I may have overcommitted myself in the last month.   It was one of those months where I was running around and carrying on like a chicken's porkchop with its head cut off - or something - and nothing much actually got done.    I didn't even get a blog post written.

I had put my name down to take part in two writing challenges - the ongoing 12x12 in 2012 Picture Book Challenge and the Chapter Book Challenge.

Neither of them were finished.

I also had two of my kids' birthdays, one which culminated in a party in a local park with around fifteen or so 6-7 year olds, dressed up as zombies... or plants, based on my now 7 year old's current gaming obsession.   Pictures to come :)

I probably could have achieved more this month had I not come down with a hideous headcold one week and then gastro the next.

In fact I think the only thing I really achieved was realising how much I missed my other writing. I kept the picture book in the back of my mind even though I knew the chances of writing it were slim.    I was trying so hard to get into the chapter book and to get that same feeling of when I'm loving what I write and could...not...quite...get...there.     I'm not going to give up on it as it gives me that feeling of adventure I used to love as a child and I think, if anything, I just need to try and stay in that zone.   But as my heart at the moment (or at least in the last month) hasn't been in writing for the under eighteens,  I'll get back into my adult writing (I'm currently on a chicklit/horror/suspense) and hopefully through that the inspiration for the chapter book will stay with me for a bit longer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Snore Snore - Stab Stab

Mr Xbox snores.   If this keeps up he may become Mr Exbox. 

I'm usually quite a light sleeper and it takes me quite some time to get to dreamland, so the things keeping him alive me asleep and still sane are half a tablet of an over the counter antihistamine sleepy tablet and ear plugs.

I can't afford this lack of sleep.   I'm still trying to get one of my novels ready to publish by June, rewrite my Nano novel, write my monthly picture book and I've just signed up for a Chapter Book Challenge with Imagine! Create! Write! for March (hopefully). 

Umm, oh and there's also child care, housework, cooking, whatever.   (Where is my four year old?  Oh, watching TV.  Awesome parenting right there!  I might just throw some more chips at him while I'm at it!)

Did I mention the exercise thing I'm still trying to do?  That's right - I didn't.

Anyway, not sure what to do about the snoring.  We don't have a spare bedroom for me to escape to for some silent solitude, or for him to escape being stabbed to death by a sleep deprived wife.  

(As I was writing this post my hubby asked me if he could buy a Sony PS Vita.  I said he could.  Then he said 'Honey, they are $500.  I was joking.  Are you thinking straight?'.  Then I said, "I'm actually writing a post about sleep deprivation."  Funny that!)

So it would appear this post has been brought to you by Restavit and silicon ear plugs.   Sorry for the nonsensical rambling.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Letting my Baby Out (my book I mean. Kids, you stay with me)

It's been a busy couple of weeks.   I managed to complete my first draft for 12x12 in 2012 and I'm still rather gobsmacked at how that got done.    I went with the food stealing animals idea from lovely commenter, Alison from this post.   By the time I had worked out how I was going to do it,  the draft took about fifteen minutes - love it when that happens.    My picture books (however rare they are) are usually written this way - weeks of deliberation; fifteen minutes of actual writing. It's almost an anti climax!   Editing however is a whole other story which may come out at a later date.

The other biggie was that I finally gave away all 345 pages of Flirting With Magick to others to read.  So far so good.  There will be more on that when I get my critiques back before the next rewrite.  But I have been told they 'can't put it down' which I assume is a good thing, unless it  has been accidentally superglued to their hands and they literally can't put it down.  Then that may not necessarily the feedback I require.

I swear allowing others to read it was one of the hardest things I have done - it would have been easier to give away one of my kids.  Or give birth three times over, all over again. 

And then I remembered that books are meant for other people whereas my kids are to stay with me.  Damn!

Must make a mental note of that!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resolutions Suck (alternative title: I Need to Stop Signing Up for Things)

I start every year with the same resolution as everyone else.  To get fit and get rid of some extra body fat.

Other resolutions include:

-Get something I'm writing in some sort of finished format (first draft, less shitty second draft, the phenomenal third draft that becomes the subject of many a bidding war between publishing houses - I can dream, can't I?),
-Get my house into a state of organisation and tranquility.  Bwahahahahaahahahahaha.
-Learn a new language (I start this at various times throughout the year.  Not very likely to happen. Then I'll watch another French movie and want to do it again.  Perhaps I should just watch everything in French?

Most of the time I get to the end of January with a to-do list and my best intentions, and finalise the year with not much more.  But of course, this year will be different!

So far this year I have signed up for:
12x12 in 2012 Picture Book Challenge  (Yep.  Will keep you posted. Still need to get into the Picture Book Zone)
1 Million Kilo Challenge (Looking good so far considering it starts on 30 Jan - it helps to do it with friends)
One Hundred Pushups  (Went from 2 to 5 - so far so good)
Two  Hundred Squats  (Somehow started at 60 so beginning at week 3 - I'm still gobsmacked!)
Day Zero Project -101 Things in 1001 days - thank you Nina @ 
for telling me about this.
The beauty of the last is that I won't get to the end of this year and think 'oh crap, nothing's changed' as it gives you a little more time and it's nice to tick things off, big or small as you go.   It's a great place to put all your goals and not necessarily have the guilt associated with resolutions and the new year.

As far as fitness goes,  right now I'm probably the heaviest I've ever been without being pregnant.  I could use some toning more than anything as I have put on weight proportionately and I'm a naturally curvy woman.  I have started the year off well by walking with friends and we have all signed up for the 1 Million Kilo Challenge and I have also started both the 100 Pushups and 200 Squats apps I added to my iphone.   Right now I'm loving the initial enthusiasm that always comes in January, we're eating well - wholegrains, the fridge is stocked with fruit and veg, dinner is lean meat or fish and some sort of salad, but I'm just waiting for the carb cravings and complacency to hit.   Hopefully I can stave or fight them off this time around.

I think that's enough to last me for the time being.

Wish me luck.   Please.  I'll need it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So I went to the zoo because I thought it would help me write a picture book


Actually we went because we wanted to take the kids to the zoo.  Yeah, whatever.  I still don't have any picture book ideas.

Now if I was writing my usual novel stuff I would have come up with an idea about a young woman meeting the love of her life on a chance encounter during the rhino feeding times, then she'd lose him then get him back then maybe decide she doesn't want him anyway.  (Oh crap, I think we missed the rhinos! How did we miss the rhinos? (checking zoo website) Phew, it's ok, they don't have rhinos)  Or there would be the ghost of an old zoo keeper terrorising the visitors during the twilight sessions or overnight stays. Or a serial killer within the zoo grounds (why does that remind me of Scooby Doo?)

Non existent rhinos

Anyway, the point is if I was going to write a novel I would have a multitude of ideas, even if they aren't very good, but I can NOT for the life of me think of something for my first picture book of the year for the 12x12 challenge - unless i write it about a six year old who starts whining that he wants to go home after the second animal - true story!

And after that  I have 11 more to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On second thought, hmm whiny kid.  They do say to write what you know.   I'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 2, 2012

12x12 in 2012 Picture Book Text Challenge

12x12 in 2012 is another writing challenge which is to write 12 picture books in 12 months (first drafts - they don't have to be submission ready).   It was set up by Julie Hedlund at her Write Up My Life  blog.

I was alerted to this little gem today and tentatively entered my details,  only hitting the 'submit' button after Mr Xbox's encouragement, still unsure as to why I was doing yet another writing challenge - particularly a challenge on picture books.   I have written two and a half picture book texts, all of which were inspired by my kids when they were all much younger and  have since had no interest nor any inkling of an idea of what to write.   But that's what I love about these challenges - your mind is forced into creativity; you have to try to put something down on days the inspiration eludes you, those days you would otherwise just close up your laptop and wait until the muse hits.

For anyone interested in participating (and I would encourage you to do so) you can sign up here .  You must enter and follow Julie's blog by the 29th January 2012 to be eligible for prizes.  There is also a Facebook group which, if the local NaNoWriMo FB group is anything to go by, would be incredibly helpful. 

Whether 12, 5 or just 1 picture book text gets written for this challenge I'm sure it's going to be a fabulous learning experience and a lot of fun!