Sharing for sharing’s sake

I have a blog. That blog desires to be updated.

I’m also a mum. My brain is regularly drained to completely empty by the time I get a minute to go anywhere near a computer. Especially when you spend somewhere close to an hour reading a book especially designed to make children sleepy while your 1-year-old cries at you… So, you give up and let him cry for ten minutes. Go in, lie him down, let him cry for ten minutes more, and go in and lie him down and wait the two minutes it takes for him to finally fall asleep… Much faster than an hour of reading. Of course, I would prefer it if I could read my child to sleep, but he’s just not a fan of his cot. And I can’t leave him sleeping in the car over night. And he can’t sleep in my bed until I’m ready to be there, too (no safety sides). It’s just one of those “battles” I’m not winning at the moment.

On the bright side, Mr6 generally settles to sleep really easily, and sleeps deeply.

Anyway, enough about that. I thought I would type up a wee story I wrote in June 2014 during a writing meeting I attended (and Chaired). For this exercise, we had four images from which to choose as inspiration, and 30 minutes to write. No, I cannot recall the image that inspired the following, but so be it… you’ll survive! (Yes, you will!)

Here goes…

Dinner was to be on the table at five thirty.

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A Brief History of Healer’s Touch…

A brief history of Healer’s Touch and its sequels

Now, when I say brief, I mean that I am just going to write, and it may turn out not to be brief at all…

So, now you know.

A sexy manga manThe story of how HEALER’S TOUCH came about really starts back in the late 1990s, when I was attending high school. I enjoyed a wide range of books, comic books, and cartoons that I watched on Saturday mornings and after school. In this sojourn back in time, the cartoon Gargoyles particularly comes to mind. I had also taken up collecting Robin III comics (from Batman fame, of course).

I was always well known for my horse drawings, but I had an interest in challenging myself to do better art, including drawing people. And so, I had a go at developing my own super hero. His name was Equus (of course… and I bet no one has ever come up with that idea before…

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Phew!

Quick update before I return to regular programming…

So, my NZMM turned into a bit of a fail this year… let me share the reasons…

So, my family took a “holiday” at the end of April. We decided to drive from Dunedin to Hastings (New Zealand), because it was half the price of flying and it’s a great way to show the child the country (and see it ourselves!)

First up, we didn’t leave as early as planned due to there having been a crash on the highway we needed to take, and no detours available…

We eventually left and still got held up for an hour. Turned out to be an incredibly tragic murder-suicide… Yep. Even in NZ…

So, about four and a half hours into the journey (and about half an hour from our accommodation for the night… in the heavy, heavy rain and dark) the exhaust (with it’s newly-fitted bullet-muffler) began swinging between the car body and the drive shaft (4WD car, so it has a drive shaft)… Of course, we did not know this at the time. All we knew was that the car had begun making a horrendous noise. The car is 1996, so all sorts of things can start falling off in 2014, right? Yeah…well, considering our history with the car (for instance the engine mounting bolt that fell off just as we pulled up in Nelson – 9 hours north of Dunedin – that one time…) we were freaking out. (I was picturing the drive shaft falling free and firing the car – and all of us – from the road…)

We made it to the camp ground and our cabin in the pouring rain (surface flooding) and… managed. Got some sleep.

Spent the following morning trying to figure out what the problem was… well aware that time was ticking as far as getting to our ferry crossing on time. It was very, very wet.

Then we called Roadside Assistance, drove (carefully) to the guy on duty and got the car up on a hoist to figure out the problem. Problem identified, but not exactly fixable (just manageable), we carried on. 

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Welcome New & Faithful Few

Well, hello there.

So, about ten days ago, my publisher advised me there had been some 37,000 free downloads of HEALER’S TOUCH. Now, this is where I have to remind myself that these are downloads that would not have happened had it not been free… because, well, I still have a student loan sitting there… looking at me… and I’m looking at it… yeah. Maybe next time.

Anyway, that was a highly successful promotion we had there… and we didn’t expect it. I guess it just goes to show what a decent cover, blurb and the few kind reviews I already had can do…

Over the course of the month, I’ve gone from having just 22 reviews on Amazon US to over 90. That’s amazing. 22 in a year… another 70 in a month. Goodreads has seen a jump, and I even got my first review on Smashwords. B&N also got some action.

It has been an amazing time

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My bliss…

When I write, and manage to get “into the zone”, I find my bliss. It’s cool. But it’s work. And when it’s work it can be hard to turn it into bliss as well.

But, I have another string to my bliss bow.

Because, not only am I a writer-mother (and part-time worker and wife and all that), I am a writer-gardener.

Yes. I admit it.

Gardening makes me happy.

And why wouldn’t it, with results like this?

Greenhouse
Greenhouse – Right hand side as at end of January 2014: strawberry plants at the top with a marigold to help keep insects down (not working). Tray attempting to germinate apple seeds at the top right. Below that is carrots in cut-down Coke and Pepsi bottles, with Rocket taking off in front (get it? taking off… ha!), and a tomato plant at the bottom left and more lettuce and another marigold…

Just wait… there’s more…

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

So, 2014 has arrived. Here in New Zealand, it’s been here awhile (20 hours, now). While I won’t be making resolutions, as such, I will be making plans for the year. They cover several aspects of my life.

As a Writer, I plan to finish, polish and publish

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Blog Hop

What a fab way to finish the year: With a re-cap/where-I’m-at post as part of an Author Blog Hop. So, here goes.

A brief run-down of 2013 from me: My book, HEALER’S TOUCH, was released at the end of January by Kristell Ink (part of Grimbold Books). I think it’s done not too badly for a debut novel published by a small publisher. My understanding is that Kristell Ink are really taking off, so I feel privileged to have got in on the ground floor. It’s all up, up, up from here.

We hit a bit of a snag when we split from Holland House to become Grimbold authors, but that’s all done and dusted now, all smooth sailing (Gosh, look at the cliches! Just look at them!).

As far as the rest of life goes, my son turned 3 in September and finally moved on from his terrible twos soon after and is becoming quite a pleasure to have around (phew!). And work has just seemed to get busier and busier. I’m sure it’s all very positive, but we (my husband and I) are stressed a good deal of the time (we work at the same company). Not super great for our parenting and my writing, but we’re managing. There are positive moves being made at work that may lead to reduced stress… or more, who knows?

Anyway, back to the Blog Hop. I was tagged by Elaine White. You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook Page, Twitter and Goodreads profile.

Here’s how a blog hop works. Elaine tagged me, so I answer the four blog hop questions in my blog, which I will link to Elaine’s answers to the same questions on her blog. Then I will reach out to five random authors to continue the hop!

Read on to find my answers to the blog hop questions.

What are you writing?

I am currently (still) working on

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Hippy Self-Sufficiency Stuff Update

So, a few weeks ago I told you all about how I had come into possession of some seeds and was beginning my own pot-garden…

…um, I mean…

Well, you know what I mean. I was beginning to grow edible plants in pots (because that’s how I roll when it comes to gardening).

So, I thought I might update you on progress.

Buttercrunch Lettuce
Buttercrunch Lettuce

Here is my first lettuce. Now, in that first sowing, I planted about 3 lettuce seed… yeah… this is the only one that did anything. Since then, I’ve sown another 3 or 4 lettuce seeds… no dice. However,

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My boy’s new shadow…

Chino Larry Miniature Horses Appaloosa Paint Pinto
Chino & Larry

Went out to visit Chino today, and I just had to share this pic.

That’s Chino, the “bigger” horse to the left (the dark paint in the background is called “Jigsaw”), and Larry is the six month old (ish) Appaloosa mini at the front…

Chino is a tri-coloured paint – he’s bay, white, and grey… but, well, he’s probably going to end up “white” with a dark tail and hocks… it seems to be the way he’s going.

Larry (he’s shown here halfway to losing his winter coat, heh heh) is a nice spotty Appaloosa type, with a nice dark grey face… an awful lot like Chino.

If Larry matures to a similar size to Chino, I think they’ll look great in harness together 🙂

No, Larry isn’t mine… but, well, we’ll see if he comes up for sale some time.

And… just for fun, this is what Larry looked like the day I met him (about 2 months old and just up to my knee!!). Cute, huh? Yeah, I think so…

Appaloosa miniature horse
Larry (2months)

Today, I tied Chino up for a bit to get him used to the idea (to date, I’ve only tied him to do his feet then freed him, but he needs to learn a bit more patience before we head out with a cart, once he’s trained). After a bit of standing around, followed by a good grooming, we put his long-reining gear on and practiced walking around so that he can get used to the idea of a bit and responding to the reins. Considering how little work I’ve managed to do with him over the years, he did fabulously. I’m so very proud.

Looking forward to eating better….

I thought I might share with you my new garden:My pot garden (o;

Now, let’s get one thing straight: I am not a gardener.

However, about this time of year (summer is coming on here in NZ), I do seem to get itchy green fingers. Don’t know why. I guess maybe it’s because I’m only a generation removed from regular gardeners. Perhaps it’s still in there, somewhere.

Actually, in the past, I have had quite an interest in growing Bonsai. I guess it’s my love of nature combined with my transient lifestyle as a university student. And, even now, I don’t feel a sense of permanence here. We bought this house as a do-up-and-move-on… some 10 years ago… maybe only 9, but it feels like so much longer.

Anyway, the point I wanted to touch on was that I’m sick of paying supermarket prices for lettuce, and I’m also sick of the rather tasteless “fresh” foods we have available now. I remember much yummier veges when I was younger — and I still had to be coerced into eating them. No wonder my son isn’t interested. So, I figured it was about time we started growing our own. It’s going to be a bit-by-bit process.

In April this year, we discovered a wild-sewn strawberry

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