Saturday, November 28, 2015

Plugging Away, One-handed...

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

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

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

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

i am reading though! 


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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NaNoWriMo ..Not Going Well.

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

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

Little grots!

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 9, 2015

Craft Group Book Buys

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaNoWriMo! Are You Doing It?

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Book Buys!

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chuck Wendig

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Books to Add to the Collection

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 19, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

22 Lessons on the Craft of Writing

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen King on How to Write

Well, until my next post, happy reading.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Birthday Books!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spring Reading

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Book Buys!

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

How very cool is that?

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

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

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

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

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