Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Bucket List item - ANTARCTICA

While chatting to my Dad a couple of weeks ago for his birthday (happy birthday Daddo!), he mentioned that he had seen an advert in the newspaper for sightseeing trips to Antarctica starting at $1199 or so. We are both tight-arses so would only go for the lowest price, and in particular I would only go for that because I am not supposed to be doing any big travel for five years (as I plan to buy a house).

"Coronation 14"
Anyway, he told me he'd look into it and get back to me...but suffice it to say that for me, this is a total bucket list item and I would definitely break my own "no travel" rule to tick it off my list. I have always daydreamed about visiting the Arctic or Antarctic (or both) regions, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

"Iceberg wash"
You can read more about the sightseeing flights at this website, and learn some intriguing facts about Antarctica. For instance, apparently the coldest temperature ever recorded in the world was recorded on Antarctica, when temps dropped to nearly -89.2 °C. Yikes! Antarctica is also sometimes referred to as a "polar desert". And I found this interesting - a few countries claim to "own" bits of Antarctica, and yet a few other countries reserve the right to claim some for themselves, while also denying any other nation's pre-existing "claim". Funny stuff.

The images of Antarctica used in this post are free-to-use (under certain conditions) images available from, a site that has a whole heap of beautiful images that can be perused.

Friday, 28 September 2012

E.J. Wesley's "Bury the Hatchet" blogfest

Today I'm posting for the "Bury the Hatchet" blogfest hosted by E.J. Wesley. This blogfest celebrates the publication of E.J.'s debut novelette, BLOOD FUGUE, which is the first in his series of MOONSONGS BOOKS. Wahoo!, congrats E.J. and I wish you the best of luck with your monstrous endeavour!

To answer E.J.'s question about who or what I'd love to bury the hatchet (literally) in, I will say that lately I've discovered a seriously intense hatred of hand drying machines that cut out after five seconds, don't even start working at all, or blow icy cold air on your hands. "Take a chill pill, girlfriend!" you say? Well maybe I should. But I challenge you to keep a chirpy smile on your dial when putting up with any of the above. ;)

Author E.J. Wesley is launching his latest title, BLOOD FUGUE, and wants you to help him celebrate! Check out his blog The Open Vein for details on how to take part, and how to enter for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

What's BLOOD FUGUE about?

Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, Jenny must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it. Blood Fugue, by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the Moonsongs books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes.

BLOOD FUGUE is available now via Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and most other eBook retailers. Check out the author on Goodreads!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Next year's goals - a new "Chrysalis" challenge

Floral lady.
Although this year is definitely not over yet, I'm already starting to look to next year's creative goals. This is probably very foolish of me since I'm still quite behind with a lot of this year's goals. But for some odd reason I'm not panicking there yet. Instead, I'm looking forward to the usual fresh start a new year gives us. I've seen other bloggers talk about this, specifically Brooke R. Busse (who is hosting a cool book giveaway, by the way - go check it out!).

Sapphos. of the things I intend to do next year, perhaps for another "Chrysalis"-style challenge, is create a new piece of art each week. Fine art is the major area of my creative life that has suffered, basically ever since I finished high school. Doing the university entrance level Art class in school was like doing three subjects in one - it was that much work. It burned me out well and truly and I've never really recovered. Don't get me wrong, though, I've created new art since then. Just not a lot of it.

Rock star dudes.
Next year, I want that to change. So I'll be attempting to create one new piece of art each week. It can be any kind of art, though the likelihood of it being sculpture is low because of all the materials required for that. I do tend to work in all sorts of media, sort of like how I tend to write in all sorts of genres. So there's very few limits on what I might create. I'm looking forward to it. :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Game of 7s [a meme]

Years and years ago (okay, back in April) I got tagged by Dangerous Dan with the Game of 7s meme. I saved the link to his post in draft form and am only now getting around to getting this thing done. What can I say? I like to let things stew a good while. ;) Anyway, these are the rules as stated on Dan's blog way back then:

The Rules:
  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 authors.
  5. Let them know.

My lines are from the rough draft of the novel I just rewrote, which I am now planning to rewrite again...yay! But here are the lines as they stand currently:
My nose wrinkles but I take the cup, knowing beggars can’t be choosers. I sip from it and crunch on an ice cube. And all the while I think about what he just said: I don’t drink. So it’s true, then. But why?

I shove the question aside, focusing on the present. “Thanks.”

Thrilling stuff, I'm sure. And just so you know, I did cheat, by fixing a typo. ;) I don't apologise though. And now I shall finish this thing off by tagging some lucky, lucky people who get to either ignore this or share some of their own lines, depending on their energy levels at the moment of tagging. I tag:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Cover Reveal: Kyra Lennon's IF I LET YOU GO (+ a blog hop)

Check it out, ya'll! (OMG, I said 'ya'll'.) This week the delightful Kyra Lennon is unveiling the cover for her first novella, titled If I Let You Go. Check out that cover - it's gorgeous isn't it?? I'm thrilled to be part of Kyra's blog hoppin' cover reveal shindig. Now I'll leave you with a little bit more info about the story, not to mention the lady who wrote it!

Title: If I Let You Go (Novella)
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: October 22nd 2012

Madison Connor is about to lose it. Her job, that is. For three years, she’s taken care of Dominic Hartley’s five year old daughter, Tilly, but her world is flipped on its head when Dominic tells her his latest promotion is taking him to New York. With Tilly having a meltdown over the move, Madison and Dominic get into a fight that changes the entire nature of their relationship, causing Madison to ask herself a big question. Can she let him go?

Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. Fiction writing has always been her passion, but she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites.

Kyra’s debut novel, GAME ON, was released in July 2012 and the second book in the series, BLINDSIDED, is due for release in November 2012. 

Where to find Kyra:

In other news, Kyra will be hosting the "Letting Go" blog hop on October 22nd, 2012, to coincide with her novella's release date. So hop on over to her blog to sign up! It's going to be fun!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Alex J. Cavanaugh's GENRE FAVOURITES blogfest

It's time for another of Alex J. Cavanaugh's blogfests, and this time we're talking movies, music and books - our favourite genres in each. Plus we get to nominate a guilty pleasure for one of these categories. ;) Here are my favourite genres:


  • Sci-fi/action combos - We just saw the remake of Total Recall, and although it had its bad sides (no Mars?!? No probe removed by nostril?) it was all in all a great remake. Also, I love the dystopian aspect of a lot of sci-fi, a.k.a. one of my fave movies of all time, Blade Runner.


  • Grunge/alt rock - This genre is definitely my main musical passion. When I first heard Nirvana's Nevermind, my life changed forever, and I haven't looked back. I love all sorts of other genres, and I have to say that probably my favourite genre after grunge/alt. rock is metal (particularly inspirational for dark stories, if you're listening to doom or gothic metal anyway), but at the heart of everything is and always will be my absolute love of grunge/alt. rock.


  • Fantasy - I guess this still has to be considered my favourite, because it's had such a massive impact on my life. Nowadays I don't read (or write) a whole heap of fantasy, having branched out into all sorts of other genres, but fantasy is still the genre that has had the greatest impact on me.

My Guilty Pleasure

  • R&B/pop - I decided to go with a guilty pleasure in music, though honestly I'm not as embarrassed about it as I probably should be. R&B/pop isn't really that embarrassing, I don't think, but let me illustrate what I really mean by naming one artist that I love to pieces - Mariah Carey.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


I first met Princess Catrina back when she was called Princess Caitlin, and appeared in a Chrysalis Experiment story in 2011. Little did I know where Caitl-rina's journey would take her - across 53 episodes of the Catrina Chronicles and one complete Catrina novel, the one I'm talking about here! I haven't read all the episodes yet, but I'm up to episode #48 and slowly but surely getting all caught up!

It took me a while to get around to reading CATRINA IN SPACE, but now that I have, I can say I was not disappointed. There are so many things to love about this story - the kick-arse heroine Catrina herself, the space hamsters and occasional mentions of the hamster rock band Gerballica (classic!). Undeniable heroics with a towel, and the fact that there's a woodmouse with a Southern accent called Becky-Jane. As always, the evilness of Susan and how it was eclipsed by the evilness of Murphy. The almost teaming up of Catrina and Susan (I thought the universe really was going to break at that point). And the Pen of Creation? Genius. I also appreciated that the author had ultimate control (even if he can't necessarily control his characters' sassy backtalk. haha). I guess it reassures me as a writer myself that my characters do NOT have the final say...or at least I like to think so.

I also confess that I love that I got an acknowledgement as a loyal Catriniac in the back of the book. Thanks Michael, but the pleasure really has been all mine. ;)

What I really want to do now is go through the novel again and add some of my favourite quotes (of which there are way too many to count) to GoodReads, so that you guys can get a taste of Michael Atkinson's genius comedy.

Buy Catrina in Space from

Monday, 10 September 2012

What's Your Chocolate? blogfest

Oh, yeaaaaaah, baby. I had to participate in this one. It's hosted by the ultra groovy Laura EnoM PaxBrinda Berry and Ciara Knight. The idea for this blogfest is as follows:

"Post about your favorite chocolate – what it means to you, where and when you indulge, a favorite memory – anything chocolate-related."

First, I will mention that we tend to pop into this delightful place just around the corner from work, Chocolateria San Churro. Here you can buy the sort of hot chocolate they made in Chocolat. So far I have not seen any Johnny Depps for sale - great shame, too - but in the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy the very, very guilty pleasures to be found in this naughty, naughty place. And yeah, we will go there for dinner sometime. ;)

In other news, you know what strange combination I absolutely swear by? White wine and dark chocolate - all at the same time. You take a bite of chocolate (must be dark chocolate, friends; no other kind is worthy), then take a sip of wine, and let it all swirl around together. No doubt this sounds gross to most or all of you, but to me, it was a wondrous discovery, and I do it whenever I can.

In closing, I will say that somewhere in the depths of my home's "storage" is a photo of an Easter bunny my mum gave me one year, that got melted in the sun. I can't find the photo, but I can give you a description I wrote of it back in the day:

"...The Easter bunny melted in the sun and looked all retarded. That was my favourite Easter bunny EVER. Major head injury bunny, but so cool."

And, to continue on the Easter note:

"I am one of those weirdos who is endlessly amused by the Easter eggs with stupid faces drawn on the wrappings. So when you take the wrapping off and smooth it out, it looks all ridiculous and skewed."

Knowing your characters vs. showing them

I know my characters pretty darn well, I think. I knew them well during my SUNDOWN revisions, increasingly so as I went through second, third, fourth and fifth draft revisions. And during my recent total overhaul, which resulted in SUNDOWN II, my intimate (ahem) knowledge of these people ("people"?) was right there in my mind.

That's why I got these feelings now and then while in the midst of the rewrite, feelings that I was not writing my characters properly. For instance, I recognised that Jared wouldn't be talking so much, and he wouldn't be understanding his own thoughts and feelings so early on. In reality it would take a good smack over the head with a tree trunk for him to get it. I guess it doesn't help that halfway through my rewrite, I changed my mind about some important aspects of the plot, so "early Jared" doesn't fit "later Jared". Basically what this means that when I get stuck into revisions, I will need to bring the guy into line with his true core nature. And with the new plot.

As for Louise, well, I know she's surrounded by people but feels she has no friends. She's living the dream, but wants only for it to be over. She's angry - many layers of angry - but in truth, she's mostly hurt, lonely, limbo. I knew all of that already, but I'm pretty sure it didn't come across in the rewrite. So, again, revisions will need to take care of that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the rewrite, as mentioned previously. But I happen to be one of those weirdos who gets a huge kick out of revisions. So I can't wait to get started on those. Again.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

GUTGAA - meet & greet

This thing is so cool, maaaaan! Deana Barnhart is the brains behind GUTGAA, and even if I'm not really ready for an agent, I'm still taking part 'cause it's cool and I guess blogfests are an awesome way of keeping oneself involved in the blogger writer community. Which I have struggled with lately, as confessed.

Anyway, yesterday was the Meet & Greet portion of the blogfest, but as I'd already posted I decided to wait for today to put up my meet & greet post. So here it is!

-Where do you write? On my couch, mostly, with my beautiful MacBook Pro on my lap. Sometimes a cat or two, as well.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? I'm not there right now, but if I were there and I were to look to my left, I'd see the arm of the couch, covered by a spotty red/white blanket (it really does have spots, on purpose), and beyond it, the "guitar corner" where my music equipment is stored, and some plastic boxes full of crap I have nowhere to put (my home is shockingly bereft of storage space, so I have to make my own). And then there are curtains, and a window. And a wall.

-Favourite time to write? Any time of day, I would be happy to sit down on my couch and get writing. I have an office, too, but it's not sorted, it's full of junk (ya know - that "no storage" thing?), and it has an old, crappy computer in it. Someday I intend to buy a delightful iMac and actually enjoy my office.

-Drink of choice while writing? A cup of tea, a glass of wine, a tumbler of Bailey's, some Coke Zero...and always a bottle of water on hand. But as for the non-water drinks, I'm not fussy. ;)

-When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? I listen to music when doing most things. It's a must in my life. It's like a limb is missing if I don't have music on. And wow, such inspiration to be gained from those wondrous strains!

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? "My latest manuscript"? Ummm, well, the latest idea I had came to me in a dream (see previous blog post for more details). But I haven't really got stuck into writing that one yet. The novel I just rewrote (SUNDOWN) was inspired by Twilight, but no, it's not about vampires or stalkers or high school. You can read about what inspired it in this post.

-What's your most valuable writing tip? Don't worry about what others think, just write! And editing/revising can wait till later.

Monday, 3 September 2012

WIPs, goals, music and the weather

I had a dream in recent times that stuck with me after waking, and I just knew I had to write it up as a story. I've written a little bit, and yet I don't really know how to proceed. This is one of those situations where I think some sitting and some stewing on the idea for a while may be in order. I've already shared my dream with my CPs who are awesome at giving me direction for my plotlines. So right now I'm just sort of feeling my way through the story (as it unfolds in my head, not yet on "paper"). I will say that it's a love story but there's a lot more to it than that. It requires world-building. And it could be steampunk-ish, but I'm pretty sure it's set in the future. Maybe an alternate reality? Anyway, as you can see I'm not sure where I'm going with it. But I love being inspired, and I love my cool dreams.

In other news, I finished my rewrite of SUNDOWN, and I'm quite happy with how it went. I'm not quite satisfied with the ending, but that's yet another project I'm letting sit for a while. My CPs have already given me plenty of inspiration for revisions/partial rewriting, so I'll be making use of those ideas when I get around to revising. For now, I'm happier with where the story went this time. My MC, I believe, is more likeable (including by me, her writer) because she's stronger and more independent (I always intended her to be that way, but somehow she turned out whiny and passive. Passive! No MC of mine should ever be passive, unless s/he's planned that way. ;)

What I'm focusing on mostly right now is my music project, the collaboration involving me putting vocals on a guy's songs for him, and in return him making my simple acoustic numbers into proper songs with drums, bass and all that (which I also then put vocals over). Then I need to get back into my actual goals that I set myself this year, because I have fallen behind with many of them. Shouldn't be long before I can get stuck back in!

It is now springtime over here in Aus, and I wave a sad goodbye to winter for another year. I love spring, don't get me wrong, but I cower in dread of what follows after it. ;)