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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.

Read more…Sharing for sharing’s sake

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…

Read more…A Brief History of Healer’s Touch…

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. 

Read more…Phew!

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

Read more…Welcome New & Faithful Few

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

Read more…Blog Hop

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

Read more…Looking forward to eating better….

Six years old… yesterday

Someone's been rolling...
Someone’s been rolling…

I admit, I was in two minds about posting my latest pics of my baby, but, well… there he is in his natural state (o:

He hasn’t been all tarted up for photos. I went out to visit him in the weekend (just under an hour drive, now). I just took the chance to give him a brush down and look at his feet and re-acquaint myself with him. It’s been two months since he moved away. Where I had been keeping him (10mins drive away) wasn’t an option any more, and we still don’t own a property to keep him.

Was wonderful seeing him again. He’s such a lovely boy. Whenever I catch up with him I flap ropes and halters and whatever all around him, and he never reacts. He’s a really calm little man, and I’m so proud of him for that. (That being said, he’s got a little bit to learn when it comes to standing patiently while I work with him…)

So, yesterday (23rd Oct, NZ Time) he turned six. Well past time I started teaching him a few tricks. With a toddler to raise now, too, I haven’t done as much with Chino as I would have liked, but he’s now fully mature and ready to get on with things, so I’m pleased he now lives with people with experience in training minis for carting. So, this summer…. (o:  Good times ahead.

Some time when I go up and the weather is good – and set to be good for some time – we will give him a bath and see what his colours really look like. If you’ve seen my previous posts of him, you will have seen that, as a foal, he was strikingly bay/pinto… actually, more tri-coloured (he’s grey through the chest, bay at the rear). Even through his early years he kept these colours, and if I blanketed him over winter, he would be bold, too… Hard to know if he is roaning out or just dirty, now (o: So, bath time soon. There will be photos!

Really looking forward to having fun with my wee man (and my other one – the toddler – can come too).

Nothing much more to report. I shall keep you posted on progress, though!

Read more…Six years old… yesterday

Going Local, Going Real

I originally posted this as an article in a Newsletter I edit…

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As writers, we’re pretty well used to interacting with “people” via text… it’s how our characters live. We write/type, and they live.

But what if the only way you intermingle with other writers is through the internet: WDC, Twitter, Facebook, G+… whatever…? Are they real? Or have you made them up? Am I real? Or are you just imagining me?

The thing about meeting up with real life fellow authors is you get to interact (gasp!) face-to-face. Foreign, I know… but let me tell you something…

Several years ago I finally discovered why I had been feeling so “odd” as I clawed my way through day-to-day life and went to work, blah blah. You see, I rediscovered my writing bug. I started penning a story. When it started to grow into something more than “just a story”, I joined WDC and combed through various websites looking for the advice and experience I needed to shape my story into a NOVEL. My best progress was made through the more personal relationships I formed both on WDC and on other sites (I found my strongest supporter on Jottify). It’s all good and well sending a review here and there and getting the odd one back, but there really is something about forming allegiences with other writers with the goal of helping each other succeed in whichever way they wish.

Then one day, for some reason I forget, I decided to seek face-to-face writing groups in my area. I learned of two. One I had to contact someone to get the details, the other one had all the details online, so I just rocked up. In both cases, it turned out to be the last meeting for the year before a 2-month break. The one I had to contact someone about was alright, but I never heard anything about things starting back up the following year, and I ended up not following it up, because…

The other one

Read more…Going Local, Going Real

Keep Calm and Carry On

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the Un...
Contemporary rendering of a poster from the United Kingdom reading “Keep Calm and Carry On”, created during World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow. I’ve seen this meme bandied about over the last couple of years… never bothered to look up its origin. But there you go. According to Wikipedia, the British Government popped it up on posters at the beginning of the Second World War, to help ease the concerns of the public… or rather, to tell the publc to “get over it”.

I was so sure it was a mother’s mantra.

It is, isn’t it?

Well, it sure was for me yesterday… and so I thought I’d share.

The inciting incident for this story happened back at the start of February… day after my book released, to be exact. I was heading out for dinner and a movie with a bunch of friends (absolutely nothing to do with my book launch, by the way, which I was very happy with… I usually like to quietly make my way in life until I can say BAM! Here I am!). It all started with my choice of footwear. Usually, when I go out, I wear my high heals. Lovely shoes (and I tend to only have one pair until they’re so worn I must replace them), but this time, I had decided to pull out an old pair of wedge-style shoes. Now, when wedges seemed to be all the rage last year or so I screwed up my face at them, because I think they look horrid — forgetting, of course, that I actually had a pair of my own. The difference is that the “classy” high heels with a filled in sole are just not my thing. These ones look like little pink sparkly ballet shoes; they are covered in beads (that were probably hand sewn on by some poor girl in India who didn’t get paid nearly enough, but I’m so grateful because I could actually afford them… I’m so sorry!), and they tie up my legs with pink ribbon… see… sometimes I’m a girl! Woah.

Anyway, recovering…

So, I was wearing these wedge-style shoes… I know, shoot me now.

After buying our tickets to Django Unchained, we crossed the road to the nearest Thai restaurant, and my wedge-style sole found the chipped edge of a broken bit of tarseal…

Read more…Keep Calm and Carry On