Friday, 30 May 2014

Cephalopod, Goals, & WRiTE CLUB 2014!

O.M.G., it is nearly June, and while this means BuNoWriMo for me and some other people, it also means the beginning of WRiTE CLUB 2014! This is a fabulous event that is DL Hammons's brainchild:

What is WRiTE CLUB?  It’s a modest writing competition whose inspiration was derived from the movie FIGHT CLUB.  There are numerous versions of this concept around the internet, but nothing like we do it here.  This unique approach, combined with your participation, continues to set it apart from the other writing competitions and is responsible for its phenomenal growth.  Its essence embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top. 

WRiTE CLUB takes place over the span of eight weeks, with twice-weekly bouts whose winners will advance to the playoffs. In the end, there can only be one champion. And that champion will be determined by WRiTE CLUB readers! I think that's a big part of what makes this whole thing so cool.

So who will win in 2014? Will it be you? There's still a little time to sign up. Go here for more details.

I only read 3 books so far in May, though I am not far off finishing a 4th - Alex Cavanaugh's CassaStorm! I wish I was finished that one, so I could feature it, but as it is I will have to go with ...

After reading book one, I was sort of a bit torn about how to rate it. I was tempted to give it 3/5 stars, but to me it was more like 3.5. I did enjoy the read, and it made me want to definitely read books 2 & 3. But I thought it was a bit creepy that Sam as a wolf checked out Grace in her room naked, and basically stalked her for many years. I also found it odd that Grace was perfectly fine with this fact. Like she just shrugged it off.

The story  was intriguing, and personally I loved the setting - I want snow, damn it :( I think Stiefvater is a great writer, very skilled. But I guess the story itself didn't strike me as some gripping saga that goes beyond the romance of Sam and Grace. It has a bit of an epic reputation, and maybe that coloured my expectations.
I will conclude by saying I enjoyed the read, but I'm not sure I will revisit this book over and over again.

Ummm, not much to say this month except ... I'm ashamed!!

I hope to have a lot more than that to say by the time June is over. But for now, I really haven't done anything except finish editing the same chapter I was editing last time I updated. ;) But I haven't yet finished transcribing the edits back to Scrivener.

Hence my shame.

June is BuNoWriMo, so I will have the added push to do editing each and every day.
Bring on June, I say!

Over 'n out, folks. ;)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

BuNoWriMo is nearly here ... !


BuNoWriMo is in June.

My plan was to try and finish off some unfinished novels during June, but I think I am just going to have to kick my own butt back into revision gear. This last month has been terrible for progress, but I'll talk more about that in my Friday post for my "Do You Have Goals?" update.

So yeah, my plans have probably changed. Which is both disappointing and necessary.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to reflect on past BuNoWriMo achievements. In the past I have written, or mostly written, these novels and this novella during BuNo:

    • Isabella and her mother return home after a ten-year road-trip and take refuge with their long-lost family. But things at home are increasingly strained, and Isabella is content to be left to her own devices. She ventures out to explore the town she lived in till she was six but hardly remembers.

      As a near-friendless loser, Isabella tries to uncover more of the town's history - and her own. With help from the only non-relative who doesn't mind being seen with her in public, she soon learns of the decade-old tragedy that still haunts the town. And she is shocked to realise that her own little family sits right at the epicentre.

      Isabella begins to regret her hunt for the truth. But whether she had sought it or not, the truth would have found her. Because Isabella's mother didn't just come home for some R&R, or to have a mental breakdown. She's here on a mission - to dig the past right out of the grave...
    • When the earth begins to tremble one dim morning, Ivy awakes on her dirty prison cot, knowing instantly that the first day of Prophecy has arrived.

      As the prison crumbles around her, Ivy slips out and flees the town that condemned her as a child. Ivy is determined to fulfil the mission she's harboured since she was a child. But time is not on her side.

      Ivy must battle through nine long days of deadly prophecy, during which fire will fall from the sky and driving sleet will sear flesh. But Ivy is determined to do what is necessary to save the world, despite how badly it has wronged her.

      Hot in pursuit of Ivy is her twin sister Jasmine, who knows the prophecy as well as Ivy does. But Jasmine believes Ivy herself is the greatest danger the world has ever known, and is determined to stop her.
    • Lily's life is pretty good, until she becomes the last person to see a girl alive before her murder, and until her boyfriend dumps her for a former high school cheerleader ... on Facebook.

      Haunted by the ex and the dead girl, Lily tries to get on with her life, but suddenly it's raining exes and her best friend is pestering her to go on blind dates. There's also the fact that the murdered girl turns out to be a serial killer's victim.

      At least there's a gorgeous cop to think about. A cop Lily keeps running into in unexpected places. This cop has a connection to the serial murder case, a connection that gets him kicked off it for being too close. He and Lily have things in common.

      She can't help developing a little crush on the guy.

      But pretty soon Lily's got bigger worries than hot cops and pushy bffs. Because the serial killer has a new target.

Those blurbs are pretty rough and haven't been critiqued or revised to within an inch of their lives. But they give you the gist of what the stories are about.

So that's my BuNo resume to date. This year I won't be adding anything new. But at least I can get back on track with revisions. I hope.

What are you guys doing in June?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Write ... Edit ... Publish ~ FAILURE (May)

It's that time of the month again when we participants in the WEP get together and share our thoughts on the monthly theme, set by Denise Covey. This month's theme is as follows:

TIME to sign up for the May challenge - FAILURE...or is it?
Write your stories, poems or get your artwork or photos ready!
You can link up immediately or with your direct link afer you post on your blog.
Edit your work. Word limit of 1,000 words for stories, poems or photo essays.
Publish on your blog between May 21 - 24. Leave a message at WEP when you do.

For my post this month I am sharing a little excerpt from DAPHNE II, which I have just edited - though I haven't edited the rest of the story in a fair while now. Feel free to give me any feedback. :) I'm happy to receive critique of the harshest order as long as you aren't unconstructively mean about it.

I cross Hackett Drive on foot and pick out a shady patch of grass under a Moreton Bay fig tree. I settle on the grass facing the river, and manage a smile, even as my nose wrinkles.

While Matilda Bay is a beautiful spot, currently it smells a bit like dead jellyfish.

I turn my thoughts to all the good things I can identify about this moment: the gentle breeze washing over me, the rustle of wind through leaves, the acceptable distance between me and the nearest traffic.

Slowly I draw breath, imagining my lungs expanding and my ribcage stretching around them. The stress is a fist in my sternum but I'm determined to rid myself of it. I try to focus on the good things--the small miracles that grace my reality. I'm fortunate to be here, to be able to attend such a beautiful campus. I'm definitely privileged. But right now those good things are being quickly overwhelmed by other aspects of my existence that I usually refuse to think about at all.

I'm in completely over my head here.

I need to think about the stresses, because to deny them is to delay the inevitable devastating freak-out. So I breathe slow and steady, close my eyes, and let little cracks begin to form in my defences. Reality seeps in, though I'm controlling the amount of flow, and suddenly I'm letting myself consider what it is that truly terrifies me.

What the hell would I do if I failed? What if I bombed all my assignments and screwed up all my exams and failed this entire semester? What would all those snobby friends of my mother's have to say then?

And what will I do with my Arts degree? I didn't care about that question at all until people started hassling me about it, and not just my mother's snobby socialite acquaintances either. My own friends do it, too. Even Daniel never got it.

Nathan does, I realise in surprise. He's in the boat with me. He's doing a useless degree just like I am. But I can't see him failing at anything. Whatever his long-term plans, he strikes me as the ambitious type. He's independent and strong-minded. I could totally imagine him going places, even if he doesn't go the traditional route.

In short, when I look at that guy I see one hell of a bright future. I just wish I could see the same thing for myself.

(411 words - according to

Monday, 19 May 2014

What I'm reading & other stuff I'm doing

So, that's what I've been reading lately. I am currently on book 3, Forever, and really enjoying the read. Honestly, I think I am enjoying the series more since the Isabel/Cole dynamic really got started. I'm intrigued to see where the story ends. So far this series has been a 4 out of 5 star reading experience for me.

This is also what I'm doing -
trying to find homes
 for my foster bubbies. :)

As for other stuff I'm doing? Ummm, I have to admit not much. I'm not really looking forward to this month's "Goals" post, because at the rate I'm going I won't have anything to report except ... nothing. :) I hope I can get some work done on editing before then, because right now I'm in a bit of a sorry state. I guess I'm preoccupied with foster kittens and cats that need visits to the vet and budgets that sort of blow out as a result. But it's nearly JUNE, people, and June is when BuNoWriMo begins. I really would like to have more editing done by June.

What am I listening to? Right now, this:

The Smashing Pumpkins are my favourite band of all time, but my favourite album is Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, an epic double-disc of awesome. Obviously Siamese Dream is a work of legend, but to me it's not the absolute pinnacle. But right now I'm listening to "Hummer", track 4, and there are just not many songs in the universe better than that one.

Anyway ... I don't really have much else to say, so I'll end this here. I guess I just wanted to touch base and say hi. :)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

1 kitten down, 3 to go ;)


Last night my foster kitty Batman's new mum
(and new little human brother ;)) came to pick him up.
It was sad to say goodbye, but I think he'll settle in well.
I hope he will, anyway. Fingers crossed!
He settled in immediately when I first picked him up as a foster,
so I don't doubt he'll do the same in his "furr"ever home.

To celebrate my time with Batman I wanted to share a few pics:

Yup, he is a total cutie. :)
Anyway, that's 1 kitty down and 3 to go.
Batman's sister Champagne is adorable as well,
and the two scaredy fosters I have are coming along nicely.
In truth, part of me is relieved that Batman is gone,
because he ate the lion's share of food each morning/night,
and my budget could use a break from that. ;)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Day of Mothers, everyone! :)

It's still Mother's Day here in Australia, so I'm sneaking this post in before the day is over. My mum is awesome, but I know I'm not the only one who can say that! ;)

So happy Mother's Day to all the awesome mums out there! I hope you had a great day. :)

Monday, 5 May 2014

A to Z 2014 ~ a REFLECTION post (plus BROKEN BRANCH FALLS cover reveal!)

These things happened during April:
  • My blog hit 100k of views.
  • I hit 600 followers - woo! thanks guys! ;)
  • I took on 2 new foster kittens - arrrrgh, help me, I'm drowning!
  • My cat, Smog, sat down on one of my printed out chapters (thankfully already edited) and dragged his bum across it, leaving a distinctly brown poo smear behind.

Just so you know, I decided not to hold the poo smear against my little boy, but it did make me wonder if he was trying to tell me something ... ha.

Oh, and you know what? Something else important happened during April ...

The A to Z challenge!

This year my theme was to revisit 2012's A-Z TBR selection and report on which books I'd got around to reading. I featured the same 26 titles spotlighted in 2012, and sometimes highlighted other books I'd read during the last 2 years. If I hadn't read any books starting with that letter, or hadn't read many, I also featured some other titles still on my TBR.

So how many books of those original 26 had I got around to reading since April 2012? Here are the stats:
  • Read = 8
  • Not Read = 18
I have to say that during April this year, I actually read one of the "not read" books - my "A" book, The Anatomy of Wings. It was a 4 out of 5 star book for me. So a revised count leaves me with 9 books read and 17 still to go. That's a fairly poor effort, but then I have read a lot of other books since April 2012. ;) So there you go. The verdict is in!

To conclude I will say I am an A to Z '14 survivor, and I can't see any reason not to do it all again next year. :) It's always a blast.

I'm stoked to be participating in the cover reveal for Tara Tyler's
Her cover promises a rather beast-tastic read! ;) What do you think?

Welcome to the Forest!

It's time for the highly anticipated, most spectacular cover reveal of the day!

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe’s closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin – he’d like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It’s against all beastly rules, but there’s just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for the Book of Ages, which holds the laws of all beastkind and hopefully the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

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Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Tara Tyler started out as a math teacher. After having a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering and living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

AND you can get up to five entries in this fun raffle just for commenting on five of the many cover reveal posts (see below) - This week only!

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