Saturday, September 27, 2014

'Body Rentals' by Mark Gardner

Tom and Jean Smith are two retirees who are about to go on a two week cruise of a life-time.  However, they kind of want to rekindle their love life and so Jean suggests they go to Body Rentals and rent a couple of neat and sleek younger bodies to take on the cruise for a bit of fun!  It takes a bit of talking Tom into, but he warms to the idea, and without telling their friends or family of their plans, they go to the place and spend the money on renting out two younger bodies.

However, on their return home, Tom and Jean find out that their lives and identities have been stolen!  Their house has been sold, their bank accounts drained and the people who have been loaned their bodies have taken off!  Then, they run into their daughter, Kimberley, who doesn't recognise them; and they really wish they had told somebody about their plans of going to Body Rentals.  After chatting to her outside their soon-to-be-sold house, she gives in and goes and talks to the people she thinks is her parents while her younger-looking folks find themselves a hotel for the night.

The next day, Kimberley returns to the hotel they are staying at and promises to help them.  She talks to a few of her friends and, before they know it, they are told some cold hard truths about Body Rentals they don't want to know... such as:  they have only 4 months to find their original body before they expire. But first, they must find the original owner of the body they're in first; yep, the person they're in was stolen in the first place!  But will Tom and Jean Smith catch up with the mastermind of Body Rentals before it too late and save their marriage as well?

What takes place over the next twenty chapters of this short book is a non-stop adventure of two people who trusted a company which took and took without thinking twice about who they were harming.  I loved this book and over the last two days couldn't put it down!  Mark Gardner is a writer who lives in Northern Arizona with his wife, kids and pair of spoiled dogs.  You can find this book on Amazon and other good e-book stores for around $3.00.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Current Work - You and Me?

Wow... a week has flown by already?  That was fast!  I've been busy with all kinds of things, but haven't forgotten to write here... just I wasn't sure about what would be interesting enough to talk about.

So, here goes:

This week, I had a bit of Writer's Block with 'Angel Love' right up until I realised I had used a couple of characters and then forgot them totally... yeah, it happens.  So, I re-read when they disappeared and found a place to put them, and the story picked up again - *phew* that was close!

Then, I got into read about four chapters of 'Body Rentals' by Mark Gardner.  This is a great book!  I'm really getting into it.  Mark Gardner is a writer I know from Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' blog.  Both he and I chat on there - as well as away from there - about writing and books.  We've become good friends and yet have never met as I live here in Australia, and he's in the United States.

And if that's not keeping me busy, I'm working on my last markets at Springwood of the Creative Markets.  Yeah, I'm pulling out of there as it's just gotten too expensive to be a retailer there.  I wasn't selling enough product to cover the $50 rent for half a day, when I was being offered spots in other places for half the amount for full day markets.  
I've also been on the creating side of things with a website for Crafty Pegs too.  So, that's taking up time in my life as well.  And I'm finding that a lot of fun as it's just cutting and pasting really, then saving the publishing... and it's using a cool little site-builder that has a free side to it and you can also start paying for extra stuff too.

Otherwise, I'm still writing Flash Fiction Fridays on Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds'.  Over the last few weeks, he's gotten us to work on a 3-part story; most of which isn't our own work.  I started one called 'The Wardrobe Monster' (yeah, every kid's nightmare) but I took it into the adult world and made it real for an adult instead of kid... very Lovecraftian.  A few people took off with it and loved that I jumped into it the way I did, while others thought it was a bit tough to take adults into a child's world of wardrobe monsters.  For me?  Well, my imagination runs away with me a lot when I write, so I can't comment.  But I did work on two in the exercise.  I wrote a part 2 to 'Pictures' and a part 3 to 'Don't Talk to the Dead'... they were both great challenges and I loved doing.  And you can find them on my 'You Can't Go Back and Other Impossibilities' blog if you wish to check them out.

So, that's what I've been up to lately - and why I haven't been blogging here much.  Well, it's your turn... what have you been writing or reading lately that's keep you from the computer or doing what you normally do in your life?  Do tell, we'd love to know (but please do keep it tame, it's a normal site here... hehehee).  Until my next post, happy reading.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Fire Trap

On Saturday, I had a family get-together for an early birthday party here at my place.  It was combined with Mum and Dad's 45th Wedding Anniversary on the same day... and it turned out great!

During the day, my brother, Gabe and I walked around my place and I showed him a few things he hasn't seen - as he hasn't been here for a long time.  We walked into my home office and he looked around, calling it a 'fire trap' jokingly.  However, I said it was a library, he still called it a fire trap.

So, does your family call your book collection anything but what it is?  Or do they have other names for it - like my brother does?  I'm a traditionalist and love my books and collecting them is something that I enjoy doing; so it's just something I don't think I'll ever get out of the habit of throughout my life.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spring Reads

I've been busy with other things in my world... writing, editing... being a retailer at markets around Brisbane... but I've picked up a book and began reading - finally! - and I'm enjoying the love of reading again.

I'm reading an e-book called 'Body Rentals' by Mark Gardner.  He's a writer I know from the Terrible Minds blog by Chuck Wendig, and we often read each other's shorter works each week... then he came across a flash fiction I wrote which reminded him of some of his own works and he recommended I had a look at his short novel showing me links to it.  However, no matter what I did, I couldn't get into it, or the place wouldn't recognise either Mark's name or my payment method.  I let Mark know, and he passed me on a copy.  Well!  I'm into the third chapter and it's creepy!  I love it and found he's written a great book!  I can't wait to get in and finish reading it to let you all in on what I think of it.

Then, I'm only a chapter and a half away from finishing 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter - Book 3'!  I'm so happy about this, but I'm still cautious about how to get the characters where I want them... the location of where the last scene might be changing, but what happens in the end won't.

And then, I'm really getting into some big action in 'Angel Love'.  It's going into a direction I never thought it would.  This book was inspired by the hit show, 'Supernatural', but I left out the two hot guys and the sweet set of wheels.  This is purely about the Angels, Demons, vessels and some poor humans who get squished in the middle of it all.  Sure it took some research and me needing to buy some books and using some of my pagan books, but it was well worth it.  I'm up to chapter 8 and it's looking great!

So, what are you working on - or reading - at the moment that's holding your undivided attention?  Which book is it?  Is it a classic or a new release?  Do you know the author as a friend or are they new to your life, or is the author such a regular to your reading list they feel like an old friend?  I'd love to know.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, September 15, 2014

'The Legend of the Bluebonnet' and old tale of Texas retold & Illustrated by Tomie DePaola

She-Who-Is-Alone has watched her tribe and the dancers from afar each day of a very bad drought.  This drought has affected the very old and the very young alike, and rain hasn't visited their lands for a long, long time.  But She-Who-Is-Alone still watches with her doll made from buckskin - a warrior doll.  His eyes, nose and mouth are painted on with the juice of berries.  It wore beaded leggings and a belt of polished bone and on its head were brilliant blue feathers from a bird who cries "Jay-jay-jay." She loves her doll very much.

But no matter how long her tribe dance and pray for rain for the crops to grow, it doesn't arrive; and the drought goes on.

So, people of her tribe began to make sacrifices, personal ones.  A hunter threw into the fire his bow, claiming he didn't need a new bow, that his old one was good enough to use.  A woman said she didn't need her special blanket either.  People gave their most valued possessions to bring the rains, and still nothing happened.  All except She-Who-Is-Alone gave, because her only valued possession was her warrior doll, which she held tightly to her heart.  However, would what this little girl have to offer - her only possession in the world - make a difference to her tribe and their lives?

This wonderful book about how the Bluebonnet flower was named in Texas is just charming.  I love it.  My Mum was sent it by a friend in the USA and I read it the other day.  What a great and colourful way of educating people and children about not only history but the dreamtime of American History.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Write A Funny Blurb

Okay... time to have some fun!  And it'd be great to see what you guys can do with this too.

I was looking at the Romance Bandits posts today and found they had a fun way to write blurb of a childrens' book... and here it is:

1] and the Magic [2] is the tale of a little girl who travels on a [3] carpet to the mystical land of [4], where she will encounter a friendly [5] [6] in a forest of giant [7] and try to avoid falling into the quarry of everlasting [8]. Using the powers of the magic [2] to help her, can she defeat the wicked wizard of [9], save the people of [10] Valley and be home in time for tea?

Quick 10 questions:
[1] Your first name
[2] Object to your right
[3] Colour of carpet or rug in your room
[4] Town you were born
[5] Favourite colour
[6] Favourite animal/bird
[7] Favourite flower
[8] Favourite dessert
[9] Your surname spelled backwards
[10] Favourite snack food

Now, my blurb is:

Mozette and the Magic Pencilcase is the tale of a little girl who travels on a beige carpet to the mystical land of Brisbane, where she will encounter a friendly purple Budgie in a forest of giant Gloxinias and try to avoid falling into the quarry of everlasting Rocky Road. Using the powers of the magic Pencilcase to help her, can she defeat the wicked wizard of Rekrap, save the people of Cashew Valley and be home in time for tea?

Well, have a go, and see how you go.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Those Dirty Little Words

The English language is a weird old thing.  It's been around for centuries and yet its roots are from all over the world, including Latin, Gaelic, Greek and other languages from hundreds of years ago.

Most of the words we've used in our lives are from all types of language and we don't even realise it.  However, we have also used words that used to known as 'dirty words' which have morphed into ordinary words for us to use in everyday life.  Here's the link to the article as to which words they are - and you'll be pleasantly surprised about them... or maybe a little shocked too.

Dirty Words From Our Past

And I thought I knew some words... well, I suppose, I also learned a few new ones too.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Book Buys!

Last month, I bought a couple of books, but I didn't keep track of when I bought them.  That's strange of me, but then, I have been very busy with new work and new stock with my hobby business.  And I've also been away from the house at my brother's house too.

So, here are the two books I purchased while I was all around the place:

There was 'Robin Williams' by Andy Dougan.  This is a biography written about this great man in 1998.  I bought it for $10.00 at The Really Good Book Shop at Browns Plains soon after Robin's passing.  I wanted to read about him.  And seeing I have only one movie about the man, I'm going to build a collection of his movies too.

Then, there was a hot and heavy romance book 'Blush' by Opal Carew.  I haven't read this author before, but from the reviews, the stories are wonderfully, well, hot!  With a hot pink cover of two people intertwined with each other, I'm sure I'm in for a real treat!  

Well, that's all there was in the month of August for book-buying.  How was your month in this way?  Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Scorpions... ?

I was looking around the internet and reading on Bookcrossing over the last few days to see what would be interesting and fun to put up here to lead us all into the weekend... and I found a strange - yet true - article on Book Scorpions.

Yep, they are really tiny critters who have a taste for books and book mites and silverfish... they do us a service and yet don't attack us.  

For more information, here's the link:

Book Scorpions

Well, happy reading... and be careful of those little guys!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

One Thousand Words or More...

Photographs are amazing things.  And when you have the right one, you see so many things in them.  I have a collection of photographs in albums and online which could speak a thousand words just through how you view them.

There's one famous photograph taken in 1937 which has been so controversial that it's been taken so many different way for all the wrong reasons.  

The article attached is a long read, but it's worthwhile to find out what the photo was really about.

That Photograph

Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Writing Through the Bad Stuff

Writers are known to be a tortured lot.  And I'm no exception.  I've got Epilepsy, had a life-threatening Melanoma, had a really bad, abusive relationship which I got out of and then I spent 15 years working on figuring myself out and trying to make my way back to getting back into my happy state of mind.

This made me a work in progress... and like anyone who's had their life turned around on them, through no fault of their own, this takes a lot of time.  This takes a lot of 'me' time.

It wasn't a lot of fun, but working on my own life has been great.  I have learned a lot about myself, my limits and how I improved myself through knowing what I wanted when I wanted it.

And now I'm at my happiest, I'm going to write about the worse part of my life.  Over the last few years I've tried to write about it, and failed each time.  However, I've bought a notebook, sat down and let myself just write down exactly what happened during those 9 months when my life was turned around on me.

I nearly lost everything in just under a year - my possessions, my integrity, identity, myself - everything was slowly being eaten away by an abusive man who thought it was his duty to make me submissive when I wasn't the submissive type.  Now I'm stronger in my self, my mind and in every other aspect of my life, I know I can write the story about my life then without it destroying me.  Besides, if I don't, it'll be there waiting for me in another 15 years for me to write it.

Writing through, and about, the bad shit in your life is almost a type of therapy.  It gets the crap that was once in your life out of the way, and makes you a better person.  It helps you realise that, yes, you made mistakes, things happened to you, but the past is there to show what you did that have turned into life lessons for you.
And this is how I view my past:  if I made mistakes in my past, they are lessons to show myself what not to do now.  However, if I make those mistakes again, it's because I've made them as choices instead.  So, when I see this happening, I have stopped myself before saying or doing anything that might end up being a mistake - again.  

So, what have you been working on lately where you've learned to let go of your past and allowed your future to evolve?  Mine isn't a great past, but I'm letting it go... after all, what can I do about it?  Not much.  Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Change of Scenery: As Good As A Holiday

I'm back from Brighton and full of beans - and ideas - for my writing.  It's been a great weekend to just sit and read, or write as it's been pouring rain since late Thursday night.  That rain didn't stop until late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning... but it was great to see so much of it over so little time. 

I got a lot of writing done, though.  I wrote a chapter and half of 'Angel Love' - where the story is becoming more intense.  The Angels are really shitting each other off.  Drake - the demon - isn't getting far with anything he does; but he's trying.  And the only human who is left out of anything is beginning his life again in another city - oh, yay, how much fun is that?

Then, there's the last 3 chapters of 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter - Book 3' that I've been working on slowly since last year.  I know what my characters are going to be doing, where they'll be ending up and exactly how the book is going to end... I just have to get all my ducks in a row and make sure they do what I want - no, need - them to do.  It's a matter of timing really.  But!  Will there be another book?  Who's to say?  

Yeah, I've had a good time writing while it's been cold, raining and I've been drinking a lot of hot chocolate and home made pizzas being made at my brother's house.  Anyway, that's what I've been up to as a writer, what have you guys been doing if you're a writer?  Anything great?  Anything to shout from the mountaintops?  Or are you suffering for your craft?  Until my next post, happy reading - or writing.