Uncategorized

When it comes to writing (and Twin Peaks) patience is virtue…

Today I’m feeling pretty damn fine…

I just finished scene 22, which was a brand new scene to be slotted in amongst the others. In total for this rewrite now, I have completed 30,179 words of my 90,000 goal. This means I’m just over one third of the way done!

At the start of this year, I set a goal for myself. In the earlier versions of my book, a series of diary entries appears at the end of Act 2. By the end of 2017, I wanted to finish rewriting all of my scenes up to those diary entries. Right now, I’m 14 scenes away, so if I can get one scene finished a week (which isn’t too unreasonable), I can potentially reach my goal before the end of the year, with 6 weeks to spare! Those six weeks are wonderful to have up my sleeve because they allow for any of those unexpected interruptions life likes to throw into the mix.

This is a great feeling, because back in February I had sort of reconciled myself to not being able to write much this year at all. But now that we have our two amazing Settlement Superheroes, and David has offered to drive the kids to school two mornings a week so I can squeeze in some writing time, I am back on track, baby.

At this rate, A Whisper of Death should be finished sometime next year and I’ll be able to participate in the exciting world of pitching again 🙂 Gosh, I miss that.

I’ve set up a toolbar in the dropdown menu above, showing my progress as I rewrite A Whisper of Death. The day it finally reaches 100% will be a day for celebration! I can’t wait.

One thing I can say about writing… and David Lynch – they certainly teach you to be patient…

Standard
Uncategorized

The hiatus is over…

And all I can say is YES!!!

Finally, after many months of not writing I am back 🙂 And it feels awesome…

I hadn’t actually realised how long it’s been since I last blogged until I checked just now. More than 16 months!!!

It’s incredible how fast time has flown…

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I’ve been super busy.

2016 was all about work – working in our business and working on my writing.

I entered many different writing contests throughout 2016 with quite a few resulting in places. Seven, to be precise.

I was awarded first place in four contests:

Utah Chapter RWA Great Beginnings Contest – Paranormal Category

Chicago-North Chapter RWA Fire & Ice Contest – Young Adult Category

First Coast (Florida) Chapter RWA Beacon Contest – Young Adult Category

 

West Houston Chapter RWA Emily Contest – Young Adult Category

Second place in two contests:

New Mexico Chapter RWA Rebecca Contest – Young Adult Category

Chesapeake Chapter RWA Rudy Contest – Paranormal Category

And third place in one:

Missouri Chapter RWA Gateway to the Best Contest – Young Adult Category

It was certainly a boost to my confidence to receive such accolades.

And the feedback was invaluable. That is by far the best thing about contests – the insight you receive into your work by readers who are judging your writing on merit alone. They don’t know who you are, only the story you are telling.

The other thing that eclipsed my time throughout 2016, and all the way into 2017,  our business. Business boomed and it boomed big – so much so it became a 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week sort of affair, which, when you have three kiddies, tends to suck the life right out of you. Well, at least any semblance of life you might have.

But there was light at the end of the tunnel. Finally after months of hard slog, we bit the bullet and hired some staff – super spectacular mind-blowingly awesome staff 🙂 And for the last few weeks I’ve actually been able to finish work at a reasonable hour, spend quality time with my stooges, and dip my toes back into the pond of literary creation.

It has been absolute heaven… 

This weekend I even completed a scene that has been hanging over my head for months now 😀

So with this newfound life-balance, I fully intend to throw myself back into my rewrite and get the thing finished.

I can’t wait to keep you updated on my progress!

Standard
My Favourite Things, Recipes

My favourite things #3: Mars Bar Cheesecake

mars bar cheesecake

For New Years Eve just past, my mother made one of my favourite childhood deserts – Mars Bar cheesecake. It had been quite a while since I’d last enjoyed the treat – several years in fact (I think I’ve made it once, maybe twice, as an adult), but it was just as yummy as I remembered. So, in the spirit of all things favourite, I thought I might share the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g plain chocolate biscuits – crushed
  • 125 g butter, melted (add more if needed)
  • 3 tsp gelatine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 375 g cream cheese (Philly)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 3 x 60g mars bars, chopped (add more if desired)
  • Flaked almonds / extra mars bars / extra cream for decoratation

 Tools required:

  • 22cm spring tin
  • electric beater
  • mixing spoon
  • cup and saucepan
  • several mixing bowls

Instructions:

  1. Mix biscuits + butter with spoon. Press mixture evenly over base of tin (and up sides – if desired).
  2. Place tin in fridge until crust firm.
  3. Sprinkle gelatine over water in cup.
  4. Sit cup in pan of simmering water until gelatine dissolved. Cool Slightly.
  5. Beat sugar + cream cheese + vanilla until smooth.
  6. Beat cream in separate bowl until soft peaks.
  7. Stir gelatine mixture into cheese mixture. Add cream + mars bars.
  8. Pour into biscuit crust.
  9. Refrigerate until set.
  10. Decorate around edge with cream + flaked almonds / chopped Mars Bar

How To Eat:

Quickly, before anyone else realises you made it 😀

Standard
Houses, My Favourite Things, Uncategorized

My favourite things #2: The “Marley and Me” Stone House

My second favourite movie house of all time is the stone house from “Marley and Me”. There’s just something alluring about that house covered in snow – a real home ready to be filled with love 🙂

Here are some pictures from the movie:

Turning into the driveway…

Coming home…

Looking out across the yard…

Welcome home!

At the base of the stairs…

the loungeroom

The lounge room.

in the kitchen

The kitchen.

window seat

A window seat in the bedroom…

snowy day

The view on a snowy day…

snow angels

Making snow angels in the garden…

And here are some shots of the real life house:

outside

dining rustic_kitchen  fireplace

barn

main bedroom bathroom bedroom sitting room

side of the house

downstairs loungeporch

I can just imagine myself baking cookies in that kitchen with my boys, or sitting on the enclosed verandah reading a book…

The house was for sale recently:

I also found the property on Google Maps – and some gorgeous shots of it from the street:

aerial view

A bird’s eye view…

street view 4

Driving up Historic Route 100…

street view 5

Look! There’s Meetinghouse Road 🙂

street view 1

And there she is…

street view 3

The view when driving to the house along Meetinghouse Road…

After scouring the net (as I do) I found this really gorgeous stone house for sale in Ontario Canada:

stone-home-ontario

Ah… a girl can only dream 🙂

Some links of interest:

And if you know of any other gorgeous stone houses, please be sure to share below…

snowing

Standard
Houses, My Favourite Things

My favourite things #1: The “Baby Boom” House

The “Baby Boom” house is my favourite movie house of all time.

It seems the concept of a successful city business woman leaving the rat race behind to live in the country has always appealed to me – even back in the late 1980s when this gem of a movie was released (I think I was about 10 years old when I first saw it).

The snow, the trees, the fresh air… absolute heaven 🙂

And what a house!

driveway

Driving to the house…

house

Welcome to the “Baby Boom” house!

bedroom

The bedroom…

night

The “Baby Boom” house at night…

kichen

Making apple sauce by the fire…

table

The kitchen/dining table.

snow

All on a winter’s day…

snowy car

Baby, it’s cold outside…

entrance hall

And it’s cold inside too!

backyard

A view of the house from out back…

kitchen cupboards

Just look at those gorgeous blue cupboards…

window seat

A seat by the living room window…

loungeroom

Absolute bliss!

After scouring Google Maps (I adore Google Maps – especially the Street View feature), I discovered the “Baby Boom” house is actually marked as a tourist attraction. Just outside the township of Peru, Vermont (Main Street actually featured in the movie – the most notable landmarks being the Peru Congregational Church and the JJ Hapgood General Store), it’s nestled among trees at the end of a long dirt driveway.

Capture

An aerial view…

driveway2

The driveway from Google Street View…

And here it is on Google Maps:

Through my meanderings across the net, I discovered this type of house is called a Cape (or Cape Cod) house:

Definitely a style of house I could go for in the future.

Some great links:

baby_boom_house

Standard
Musings

And so another year has passed…

Happy New Year

Yes, 2015 has drawn to a close, and 2016 is here.

In the spirit of all things fresh and new, I thought I might try something different on my blog this year. Instead of simply focusing on writing – which I also address on The Print Posse blog – I thought I might write about some of my favourite things. Things that inspire me, things that motivate me, things that make me smile. Some of these things may be movies and books, others, recipes and songs. There’ll probably be a few web pages and poems too, maybe some art.

Spending time in Tassie every year – away from the hustle and bustle of city life – always stokes a flame of reflection and contemplation in my heart. I love going for long walks and dreaming of faraway places I’d love to live one day, places I could steal myself away to and write all the stories percolating inside my mind.

Just like this gorgeous stone house in Ontario...

Just like this gorgeous stone house in Ontario…

I’m generally a happy person and I think the reason for this is because I cling to goals and dreams – goals and dreams that keep me motivated and working hard even when working hard is the last things I want to do, when the days seem to drag on endlessly, when I feel chained to my seat in front of the keyboard with no release in sight. Simply knowing I’m working my way towards something wonderful is enough for me. I don’t have to have it now – I just need to know one day I might be able to make it a reality. Patience, that’s my motto, and persistence – because I know time always flies by, and before I know it, the years will have passed and I’ll be living that future I’m working so hard right now to create. Barring any unforeseen calamities, that is – but I don’t like to dwell on such things, not for too long anyway 😀

So, here’s to a brand new year – a year of dreams and wishes.

snowfall

And maybe while reading about mine, you’ll find a few of your own…

 

Standard
Uncategorized

As 2015 draws to a close…

Old alarm clock showing five to midnight

Five to midnight…

I’m sad to say I’ve been rather quiet on this blog this year – what with a new thriving business monopolising my time and my adventures on The Print Posse Blog.

For those of you who haven’t been following my Print Posse escapades, you can read about them HERE. Gabbie, Fiona, Karen and I take turns blogging every month about topics near and dear to our hearts. Each of us are at different stages of our writing journeys and have different perspectives, experiences and advice to share. Be sure to check it out 😀

I thought today, though, I might revisit my resolutions for 2015, before 2016 rolls around and a whole new set of goals must be set.

The things I wanted to achieve in 2015 (as detailed HERE) were …

1. Rewrite my synopsis for The Mark of the Cagairáin – to be completed by the end of January.

Not only did I achieve this I also revised 1 more time AND then wrote another synopsis !!!

2. Work with my Pitching Posse to set up our new website and maintain throughout the year – website to go live sometime in February.

DONE! And I never shut up about it :p

brilliant

3. Finish the first draft of my fantasy novel – hopefully by end of April.

DONE! And earlier than planned – I typed my last 1071 words on 12 March 2015.

4. Write a significant proportion of the second draft of my fantasy novel by the close of 2015.

Well, this one not so much – but I’ve almost finished chapter 2.

5. I’m also thinking of compiling a few playlists and setting up some individual web pages for each of my novels. Oh, and posting more novel-related material on Pinterest.

Sort of. I did compile playlists and create web pages for my fantasy novel (which you can find HERE and HERE). But that’s about it. I guess I’ll get to this once I finish the second draft of my fantasy novel and start plotting and planning Victoria 2.0. I can’t wait!

6. On a personal note, attend my high school graduation 20 year reunion on August 22.

DONE!

2

That’s me in the red!

7. Finish watching Buffy and Angel with my eldest. And then maybe move onto Twin Peaks.

Well, this fell to the wayside – finding time to watch TV became increasingly difficult as the year went on. But Cole and I did get to season 5 of Buffy and the equivalent of Angel (Season 2). I haven’t seen the last seasons of Revenge or Teen Wolf. Neither have we watched Twin Peaks. But we did, here and there, treat ourselves to an episode or two of The Walking Dead – we are currently up to season 4.

booyah

So there you go!

Apart from not getting as far along in my rewrite of A Nightmare’s Betrayal, I think I’ve done pretty well. Here’s hoping next year is just as productive, if not more so.

And definitely as much fun  😀

goodbye2015.jpg

Standard