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Bienvenue 2019

 

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now but I’ve been so busy doing Christmas and New Year things with my family, and writing here and there, I haven’t been motivated to carve out the time.

  

  

Some of the things we’ve been doing here in Tassie, include: climbing trees, playing pooh sticks, visiting the forestation, playing golf, feeding the horsey, and going for long walks…

So, yes another year has ended and it is now 2019. All I can think is, where did the last 19 years go? Nevertheless, I thought I would do a resolution post. It’s been a while since I posted one and the last time I did, I really enjoyed looking back on it the following December to see how many of my goals I achieved — which turned out to be a lot more than I expected!!!

So this year, given my previous success, I thought I’d include a resolution that is a little bit unusual for me, something that feels a little frivolous but definitely doable.

So without further ado, here are my resolutions for 2019…

1. Finish the rewrite of my book

2019 is looking more and more like the year I will finally finish my rewrite. Currently, I’m working on scene 45. Once completed, I’ll only have one or two more scenes to write until I’ve finished all twelve the diary entry scenes! Then all that is left is rewriting the final third of my book which is already written, but just needs to be changed to present tense and some scenes reworked into idea’s perspective. So yes, a finished manuscript by the end of 2019 is looking very promising 🙂

2. Learn some French (my frivolous plan)

Over the past three weeks, while I’ve been here in Tassie, I’ve watched most of season 1 of Escape to the Château DIY, and pretty much fallen in love with the idea of visiting France one day. In fact, after talking to David, I’ve been thinking I’d like us to stay in a whole bunch of places, once we finally retire and the boys have grown up. Three months in England, three months in France, three months in Canada, three months on the east coast of the USA, and the list goes on. Three months at a time so we can live more like locals than tourists. I even checked out long term rentals online, and it turns out there are plenty of holiday houses you can rent around the world for the same cost as renting here in Australia.

But given my current binge-watching escapades, France is currently number one on my list. So, in the spirit of all things new and resolute, I thought, “why not learn some French?” and downloaded the Duolingo app.

My resolution for 2019 is to complete all the French Duolingo levels by the end of the year, which I think is quite doable. And funnily enough, my middle son has been doing the classes with me and he is a little language machine. Although, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised given his affinity for memorising obscure dinosaur names, since before he was even two years old. He’s always had a good ear and a talented memory for unusual words.

3. Adopt some new lifestyle habits

Last year, while not a resolution of mine, I managed to implement a new practice in my life which ultimately became a new habit. This is quite unusual for me. Usually I’ll start something new and then stick with it for all of about a month or two. But in 2018, I introduced audiobooks to my daily routine, and now they are an integral — and much cherished — part of my day to day life.

It’s funny, but after making this change, I feel like I have a little bit more power to change my life. I can implement new activities and routines to improve my life for the better, and mould my real life into the life I aspire to in my head.

So, into my day to day routine, I would like to incorporate three new things:

1. Drink more water every day. I’m already doing this, and want to continue 🙂

2. Special family dinners every Sunday and experimenting with new recipes. A few weeks ago I watched (for the second time) the Julie & Julia movie which I thoroughly enjoyed. It inspired in me a curiosity: to try some of Julia Child’s recipes! I’ve already ordered a copy of her book Mastering the Art of French Cuisine (Volumes 1 and 2), which hopefully will be waiting for me at home when I return to Brisbane next week.

 

On a more general note, I would very much like to try to experiment with cooking a bit more on a day to day basis — ie. making bread rolls, bread, and other things like that. While I’ve been in Tassie this trip, I’ve cooked a few treats, including apple crumble and my favourite cheesy potato bake, as well as a whole bunch of seasonal fair (such as fruit mince pies, chocolate truffles, cookies and white Christmas). One day I promise I will get around to sharing my favourite recipes on here.

   

  

3. And lastly I’d like to make more of an effort with my appearance. These days, with my hectic schedule, I resort to t-shirts and jeans every single day. It would be nice to be a bit more adventurous and maybe add a few French style items to my wardrobe. Like this lovely scarf I received as a gift this Christmas…

But we will see how that goes… lol

Anyways, Happy New Year!!! And good luck with any resolutions you may have 😀

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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

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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

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Uncategorized

Some exciting news…

Hi all! I have something cool to tell you 🙂 

teen wolf dancingI was selected as one of 24/250 entries in a contest called ON THE BLOCK hosted by Miss Snark’s First Victim. On Tuesday, agents will bid on our manuscripts, but until then, our entries have been posted for feedback, critique and support.

My entry is #3 THE MARK OF THE CAGAIRÁIN (you can view it HERE). I would really appreciate any comments/feedback you would be willing to offer.

BONUS to any writers out there – when you post a critique, you go into the draw to win a critique of your own work AND there is also a Twitter giveaway happening (details can be found HERE).

Thanks in advance!

stiles

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Uncategorized

I’m ba-ack!

I'm back!

Last night I wrote 300 words on my fantasy novel – the first time in four months I’ve worked on the project. But the break was totally worth it. Finally I fixed the issues plaguing the beginning of The Mark of the Cagairáin (issues I wrote about in an earlier post HERE) and have a version I feel proud of 100%. It’s such an awesome feeling – and so freeing. I can move forward and finish my second novel knowing my first is the best it can be 😀

I’m so in love with my second novel – an adventure about friendship and accepting oneself, fears and foibles and all. And it’s full of creatures from Scandinavian folklore – creatures I’ve longed to write about for years. It’s so different from The Mark of the Cagairáin – there’s no romance, it’s dual pov, and I get to play with a new style of writing (more direct, less descriptive) for half the story.

You can follow my progress at the top of my blog (there is a progress bar in the header: A Nightmare’s Betrayal – Second Draft) as well as on Twitter. I will try to write a bit each night, and update after every session.

I will also try to post a bit more regularly on here, now that I am back in writing land.

Oh, and if you’ve missed any of my posts on The Print Posse over the past few months, you can also find links to them in the header (bottom right corner).

Hasta la vista, baby 😛

I'll be back

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Where I’ve been…

Just a quick note to let you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks since I’ve been absent … working, working, working AND writing over at The Print Posse blog 🙂

IMG_1188

Yes, The Print Posse blog is up and running! You can find it HERE. Each of us ladies posts once every four weeks… so you not only get to read about my writing journey, but also the journeys of three other fab Aussie lasses 😀 And double yes – the law firm is going great guns. So much so, I’m pretty much living and breathing contracts and settlements day-in, day-out (and all night, every night too – which is time usually reserved for writing).

So for the moment, writing is taking a back seat. But it’s all for a good cause so I can’t complain 😀

Anyways, I’ll try and check in again soon. Until then, I’ll still be interacting on Facebook and Twitter, and of course posting on The Print Posse blog.

Be sure to drop by and say hello!

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If a picture paints a thousand words… then I’ve met my writing quota for the month!

It’s time for another graphics post, folks.

Inspired by my new WIP, I have created some more pages for my website: one for The Changeling Chronicles duology, and one for the first book in the duology – A Nightmare’s Betrayal (the book I’m working on right now).

I know this gif has nothing to do with webpage graphics... but I needed to post something here and Blair Redford is definitely SOMETHING ;)

I know this gif has nothing to do with webpage graphics… but I needed to post something here and Blair Redford is definitely SOMETHING 😉

But before I share my web addresses, I want to give a shout out to the exceptionally talented Heather Bruton for allowing me to use her gorgeous sketch of a polar bear. Thank you, Heather!

I would also like to make special mention of Carrissa, over at TheSilverDiva on Etsy, whose beautiful hand-stamped heart keyring features on my webpage and book cover. I purchased one of the keyrings myself and can only say wonderful things about Carrissa’s service and craftsmanship. Definitely check out her shop HERE – Carrissa has so many beautiful pieces to choose from, and she ships worldwide too.

I also used a variety of fonts, textures and brushes:

Okay, so with all my thankyous and credit given, I would like to reveal to you my two new web pages:

The Changeling Chronicles

A Nightmare’s Betrayal

They also link from my novels page – you just need to click on the Changeling tarot card. Sometime in the near future, I will add a more obvious link on this page.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’ve also created a book cover for A Nightmare’s Betrayal, the front of which appears on my new web pages.

A Nightmares Betrayal Cover

Once again, I’d like to stress that these are just fun book covers and web pages I’ve created for my own enjoyment and inspiration. Of course, I hope you enjoy them too 😀

Now (again) I just have to get the book finished :p

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