Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10% Inspired

First up a big thank you to the guys at SquareSpace.  Despite hurricanes, flooding and generator failure they've managed to keep and 1.4 million other webpages like it online. Story Here.  I suspect its just one story amongst thousands, of people in the path of Hurricane Sandy going above and beyond the call of duty.

So today's visit on the blog tour is at 10% Inspired

Thanks for having me CJ :)

Where I've been...
30 October: Dose of Dannie

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting Around The Interwebs: Drive Blog Tour

Monday, yesterday, went well. No sign of mondayitus at all.  Then I woke up this morning and it all went to Monday... edits due tomorrow, a book releasing on Thursday, a sick kid, a meeting with school, a husband working a shift pattern that's turned him into a zombie, and a hormone induced migraine. So YAY for Tuesdayitus.

And its only 10am.

So, to get over this Tuesdayitus I've holed up in the local cafe, surrounded by tennis mums as far as the eye can see (well apart from the bickery young couple beside me), eaten a very large slice of pecan pie, increased my tea levels and taken pain pills.

Things were already looking better, when, all of a sudden it dawned on me... my Drive Me To Distraction blog tour starts TODAY, NOW, RIGHT NOW, OMG...


Its all beginning.


Suddenly feeling all better.

So here is the tour schedule...

Today I'm over at the very lovely Dose of Dannie
Thanks for having me, Dannii.

Friday, October 26, 2012

All About... Liz from Mumstrosity

Mumstrosity.comThis Friday I'm so excited to introduce the lovely Liz from Mumstrosity.  Liz is a fellow blogger, and a wonderful writer. Her blog has that warm straight-forwardness about it which makes you think you've just had a chat with a good friend whenever you read her latest post.

First, the basics…
Who are you? Sometimes I'm not sure, but for the most part my friends call me Liz.

What occupies your time? I am a WAHM and a blogger, though I spend most of my time ferrying children around to school, kinder and weekly appointments.

Where do you live? I live in a reasonably quiet country town in eastern Victoria.

Who do you live with? I live with my partner and 3 kids (+1 on the way), 3 budgies and backyard full of Magpies (evil creatures).

Day job / other job? I am self employed, doing a small amount of online work (including blogging), but I am also one third of a non-profit organisation to which I volunteer the majority of my spare time.

Secret gifts / talents / hobbies... You could call me a Jill of all trades (master of none), I like to dabble in a little bit of everything and go through phases of what I'm into. One thing I've spent a lot of time doing is researching my family tree. I started doing it about 3 years ago and now have well over 1,000 names in my tree. There's more to add, but I just don't get a lot of time to do it anymore. So far I have not found any unclaimed fortunes.

Interesting stuff I’d like to know about you…

Tell me a story about a car you loved?
I once had an old Corona wagon. It was a rust bucket, and I'm still not really sure what colour it was - somewhere between green and gold. It's top speed was 100km, downhill. However, this old rust bucket gave her all. Two friends and I packed up the boot and headed north on a little road trip. We travelled up towards Brisbane, stopping in and around little towns here and there, and when we couldn't find a room we slept in the car.

The Corona provided well for us. She made it all the way to the Sunshine State, and would have made it all the way back if we hadn't hit a kangaroo. Just 3 hours away from home a kangaroo (or possibly a wallaby) hopped on out in front of my car. It hit the bonnet but went straight under, and surprisingly I was able to keep a steady grip on the wheel and stay on the road. We didn't stop. Normally I would have pulled over to do check the animal and move it off the road, but I had a big line of traffic behind me so there wasn't a great deal I could do.

When we got to the next town I pulled into a servo to assess the damage. The front end of the car had been smashed in from the lower half and the licence plate was missing. We were able to pop the bonnet, but we're not a very mechanically minded bunch so we had no idea what we we're looking at. A man came over to us and informed us the mechanic wasn't in until tomorrow (it was night), so we asked if he could have a look for us. We told him we were 3 hrs from home and just wanted to know if he thought we could make it that far. He told us we would be fine.

So, convinced we could make it home, we bought some pizza and headed off again. Then, about 15 minutes out of town the car started making some bad sounds/smells - I can't really remember exactly, but we were convinced the car was going to explode at any given moment, so we pulled over. Of course it was pitch black, in the middle of nowhere, and with no reception. Naturally.

We locked up the car and headed down a nearby driveway, hoping it would lead us to a house. What we came across what a giant gate and fence (at least 6ft), that looked like it was electric. Then when we heard male voices and strange animal sounds, we were certain we had stumbled across some sort of Jurassic Park slash Wrong Turn habitat and hastily got our arses back to the car.

We had no choice but to walk or hitch, so we put the hazard lights so we could be seen and waited for a car to come along. Sometime later, a car finally came by and yes, they stopped. It was a woman and two teen girls. She explained to us that she was a teacher and they were at a school camp, but one of the girls had become very sick so they were taking her to find some medical assistance. When she saw 3 young girls on the side of the road with a broken down car she felt compelled to pick us up.

Back in town again, we were dropped off at the servo we had stopped at on the way through. The guy working gave us free coffee and use of a telephone, and we had soon sorted out a taxi and accommodation for the night (Hooray for comprehensive car insurance!). The mother of one of my friends came and collected us the next day, and when I returned to collect the car we found that the radiator had been pushed back against the fan belt, which had cut through from the heat and friction. The car was a write off, but she'd had a good run.

I’m a bit of a weather nerd. Tell me about your preferred type of weather??
I don't particularly mind if it's hot or cold, or even raining for that matter. I lived in the Top End for a while and the heat and rain didn't bother me so much, neither does the frost down south. The one thing I can't stand is the wind. I hate when it's windy, it just puts me in bad mood. Having to check the house and yard for wayward objects, hair flapping about recklessly, dirt blowing in your eyes and embers in the summer being blown about catching everything alight. Blergh.

What are you reading at the moment?? Is it good / bad??
I am currently reading 'A Hidden Fire' by Elizabeth Hunter, which is book 1 of the 'Elemental Mysteries' series. It's not bad, it dragged a bit for the first half but it's grown on me. I'm enjoying it.

What frugal thing do you do?? Have you got a sneaky money saving tip??
I love a bargain. For groceries I mostly get the 'no name' stuff, food that has to be used quickly and whatever's on special. I research things I need to get on the internet so I can compare prices. I also have a budget/forecast that I made up in excel that is 12 months in advance. I like to know exactly where my money goes, and how possible purchases will affect me down the line.

Thank you so much Liz :) Its been a real pleasure to have you visit.  Will you stop by again some time?? I hope so.

You can find Liz online at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Big Reveal

So here it is. I can finally reveal it. The cover for Drive Me To Distraction...

I have a proud.
I cannot believe how well the cover artist has captured the heroine, Alex.
Isn't it just wonderful??

The first chapter is up on the Momentum website.

And here is the first page....

Drive Me To Distraction

“If he doesn’t slap my bum, make female driver jokes or tell me to brace myself because he’s the hottest boy-racer I’ve ever seen …”
Mike’s eyes continued to glaze over. They’d paused when Alex said bum, but now they continued their journey into complete ambivalence.
“… then we’ll get along just fine.”
“You’ll never get anywhere until you lose that chip.” Mike brushed an imaginary chip from her shoulder. His gaze wandered down to her chest.
“You’ll never get a un-skanky girlfriend if don’t stop perving at women’s boobs.” She rolled her eyes and zipped her heavy racing overalls up to her neck, risking heat exhaustion on this rare hot English summer day.
“I wasn’t looking at your —”
“Yes, you were.” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“You haven’t got any to look at. Why would I bother?” Mike smiled innocently.
“That is not true.” She glanced down at the nearly flat front of her overalls. She wasn’t Dolly Parton, but still.
“Anyway. My girlfriends aren’t skanky,” he said, without much conviction.
“What about that Belinda one?” Alex grimaced at the memory.
“Mmm, yeah.” He grinned. “I miss her.”
“She gave you crabs.”
“Itchy.” He fidgeted at the memory. “But she was great in —”
“Can you at least try not to be disgusting?” Alex grabbed a clipboard from her desk and swatted his arm.
“Why?” Mike looked baffled by the idea, though laughter danced in his eyes.
She shook her head, amused and exasperated. Then she left the small administration office of Thruxton Motorsport Centre with enough force to make the windows rattle in their cheap aluminium frames. Outside, the smell of baked tarmac and hot oil hung heavily in the warm still air, soothing like aromatherapy – if you bought into that girly rubbish, which she didn’t.
She glanced at her clipboard and undid her overalls a couple of inches. Mr. Robert Dryden was the next driver eager to conquer the Thruxton racetrack and attain his racing driver’s licence. At least he’d had the imagination to pick the Lotus, most wanted the Porsche or the Lamborghini.
She strode up the pit lane to where he waited leaning on the car. He turned when heard her, and smiled a warm sexy grin, teeth gleaming. Tall and lean, brown hair flopping across his dark eyes and the pale skin of an office dweller, all came together to make him meltingly handsome, in a laddish way.
Surrounded by men, working in an industry that only saw women as decorative, Alex had learned to be aloof and matter-of-fact, especially with the distractingly handsome ones. But the hint of kiss-me-nowness about his grin unsettled her. She zipped her racing overalls back up to the neck.
“You’re a girl,” he said, as soon as she got within earshot.
“And you’re an idiot.”
She ignored him. “Hi, I’m Alex. I’ll be testing you for your racing licence today.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The View From Here

There is a lookout at the end of my street. I go there a lot. It is so peaceful. You can see for miles and the sense of endless space is incredibly calming.
The View From Here

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

A thunderstorm moving across distant Sydney
View from Mumndad's spare room
On Friday night I hit send on the final, final, final set of edits for Drive Me To Distraction. The ARCs are being sent out (advance review copies), people I don't know are reading it, and soon they will be telling me, and the rest of the internet their opinion.

And anxiety attack in 3... 2... 1....

Oh this book writing business, no one tells you how agonising it can be!

Panic attacks aside, I was thinking I had things under control. I managed to get The Bunker submitted last week, and though I've still got a few guest blog posts to write, they aren't due for a couple of weeks.  My Next Release doesn't even have a release date yet. Lately I've been attacking the thicket garden and deciding which project to get on with next... a revise and resubmit on one story, or finish the next, half written, novel.

Then I had an email.  My Next Release does have a release date. Um... December.  And would I be okay to get it edited in the next couple of weeks?

Pffffft. I said. I am poised at my lappie, sleeves rolled up awaiting the editorial report. Bring It On.


The edits should arrive in four days, so I've got time to get organised.  And I know if I'm organised then I can focus better and deal nicely with house, kids, daily life whilst under a boatload of pressure.  I can Keep Calm and Carry On.

For the house the main breaking point is food.  So I've meal planned and just got back from Coles (geez, it was like a plague of locusts had been through there, empty shelves as far as the eye could see). I went for convenience food, ie, bagged salad, apple puree pots, cheese sticks, muesli bars, things I can just grab and serve. Usually I avoid the more processed end of the food spectrum.

Next is clothes.  Kids uniforms are organised and ready to go.  I'm just getting my stuff sorted and getting loads of washing on, so I won't have to deal with any sock crisis's (believe me, when I'm stressed, spending twenty minutes trying to find a matching pair of socks sends me straight over the edge and into shrieks-ville)

Filth-wise the house is teetering somewhere between not bad and starting to bug me.  It can stay there.

As for me. The mantra is going to be Sleep, Water, Walk.  If I get enough of each of these every day regardless of what needs to be done, I'll stay sane.

Sleep, Water, Walk.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On The Table or How We Chocolate Poisoned The Dog

We had a cold snap last week
6 deg as opposed to 20
And Sebby had been clipped
So I wrapped him up!
Hubs was working last weekend.  The first weekend of term 4.  Miss 6 does not like change in routine, change from Friday to Saturday is always rough and change from holiday to term time is even rougher.

So as you can imagine it was a pretty solid weekend of meltdowns.   To add to the chaos I had been given four days to do the final proof-read of Drive Me To Distraction.  Two of these four days were over the weekend.  So I was stressed.

By Sunday lunchtime I was in dire dire need of chocolate and turned to a recipe I've been making since I was about 6. Delia Smith's brownies. In a calm half hour we baked together and then stood around the kitchen scoffing them.  Finally things seemed to be coming together.

A while later we were watching TV and one of the kids brought the brownies into the lounge.  Then everyone rushed outside to play on their scooters, and I rushed after them to be a hover parent. A clatter drew me back inside and there I found the dog had eaten all of the leftover brownies.

Now I happen to know that chocolate is very poisonous for dogs.

So a call to the after hours vet. A rushed trip to Asquith. A night of throwing up for him. A $300 bill for me. And he is utterly fine. More than fine. Bright eyed, unrepentant and ready to do it all over again.


FMS Photo a day: On The Table

(Oh and if you make the brownies, I don't bother with four different types of nuts, anything in the cupboard will do, or leave them out, and forget toasting them AND you can melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave)

Friday, October 19, 2012

All about... My husband Nic

So for my second interview I've talked to the man behind Caitlyn Nicholas, my husband, Nic....  

First, the basics…
Who are you?

I am tall a ex pat English man who is married to a writer, need I say more?

What occupies your time? Between work, the kids, proof reading manuscripts and trying to keep the pool from going any more green and hiding any passing hippopotamus's there is just time for some zzzz.

Where do you live? Sydney, Australia.

Who do you live with?? Two kids, one wife. A small dog with a penchant for stealing chocolate brownies, obviously likes his special trips to the vet!  Throw in an elderly magical black cat and four chickens and the animal menagerie is complete.

Day job / other job?? Lion tamer - well if Lion taming is like keeping people working on computer issues focussed at 3am when they would rather be in bed.  There's less chance of loosing limbs but only just.

Secret gifts / talents / hobbies... I am afraid due to the nature of this interview and the interviewer I would like to keep any hobbies/talents secret?!

Interesting stuff I’d like to know about you… 

Finish the sentence…
I love… obviously, my wife, my gorgeous witty and intelligent wife. I could go on, and probably should, but you get the message.

I hate… when the rewrites come in for my wife's books, how could they think any are needed!

Tell me a story about your car / a car you loved??  I loved my Alfa, really I did, but it shamefully embarrassed my wife by donkey hopping away from a random police check, and had other rather obvious misogynistic tendencies.  So it was explained to me, that it had to go!  Oh and the fact the rather clever Italian electronics died rather spectacularly helped it to be quickly traded in for a far more sensible drive (BORING).

I'm a bit of a weather nerd. Tell me about your preferred type of weather??  Smouldering build up to the rainy season with heavy downpours playing on our metal roof!   Windy weather however, I am not a fan! Unless I am out on a yacht.

What are you reading at the moment?? Is it good / bad?? Chapter one of 'Drive Me To Distraction'.  Probably should move on now to the other chapters but with only a few weeks to go before it goes live I am leaving it a bit late, good first chapter though. 

What frugal thing do you do?? Have you got a sneaky money saving tip?? I do have a secret cash store called the Wife's Xmas present fund.  Oops probably should not have mentioned that!

Excellent recipe for me to try... Nearly all my recipes have been carefully been passed onto me from my wife, however last night's delicacy of Eggs on toast was one of mine!  They were laid by our chickens, and there was some cheese as well!

Most amazing place you’ve ever been? Australia, especially Sydney.  Met my wife, my children were born there and I could not see myself living anywhere else in the World.  

Fave way to waste time??  
Cleaning the pool, the time flies just trying to get the correct shade of green takes skill and effort.  Must look for a hobby, maybe something away from the pool!

Tell me about your secret weakness… Again with the secrets.   I suppose loving a writer is my weakness.

C: Thanks sweetie :) You've earned so many brownie points! Love you.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Minibeasts: Something Close Up

Miss 6's class is doing 'mini-beasts' this term at school. This is the point where I once again take my hat off to anyone teaching infants aged children.

I am not a fan of things with more than four legs.  Though they seem to like me a lot.  If a moth is going to fly into someone's hair, or a pantry moth die of suffocation down someone's cleavage then that someone will be me.

Thus far we have captured a snail and a large number of ladybugs to add to the classroom collection.  In a rather unfortunate mix-up Miss 6 took a half-used tub of margarine in on Monday. It was sent home and the identical tub that was filled with ladybugs was sent in on Tuesday. So all good.

Our snail was given pride of place in one of the bug jars. Miss 6 was worried that there was already something living in the snail's jar, but it turned out to be the desiccated remains of last years minibeasts.

Poor minibeasts.

Photo a day prompt: Something Close Up


M' bag and m' purse
You can get a manuscript
and a bottle of wine in that bag
So for the last year or so blogger has got its act together and its been much easier to post photos (it used to be a long and tedious process).  However, now that I've decided to post a photo a day (see FMS) it has decided to kick the bucket again.

Le sigh.

Anyhoo. I am persisting. Today we're going with the prompt Red, because I'm so utterly out of sync now that I'm just going to post a few more pics and declare myself caught up.

I love red. Its my signature colour and you're unlikely to find me out in public without red somewhere upon my person.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Photo a day prompt is 'Light'

This is my favourite light.  Its a Himalayan salt crystal lamp.  I got two of them, years ago, from a chap in Melbourne. I have no idea if they are actually from the Himalayas or not.  But I like them anyway.  They give off negative ions, which are supposed to be awesomely air purifying, or something. Mostly I use them as nightlights and to warm my hands up on in winter.

Light. There you have it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm Thankful For...

So I'm catching up on my photo-a-day photos. Hopefully I'll get there by the end of the week! Or maybe not.

Today Year 12s across the country start their final exam, the Higher School Certificate.
Me, aged 17, back in 1989
I am deeply, deeply thankful that its not me.  Deeply.

My final year of school passed in a blur. I don't think I really understood the significance of it all. And the course I wanted to get into, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Equine Studies (yes horses) had a relatively low mark. I knew I could achieve it in pretty much the same way I'd achieved most things up to that point, by doing the bare minimum.

And so I did.

I got into that degree. Discovered boys and alcohol. Failed my first year in a very spectacular fashion and dropped out.

Thus began my glorious academic career.

Some years later, now working full time as a PA, I decided to go back to University. But with the smear of that first year on my academic record they weren't particularly interested.  So I did a University Re-entry Program which was run by UNSW.  In Maths my HSC mark had been 57, and to get into the course I wanted (Economics) I needed 60. So I went back to TAFE at the same time and re-did HSC Maths.

It was awful.  I have no idea how I managed to complete seven subjects at that level back when I was 17. It was so full on. And confusing. And HARD.

But I did it. I worked full time, did the re-entry course (which included doing four Uni subjects) and the HSC maths.

I did well in everything. And when I logged in to get my HSC Maths mark, one cold January morning (I was, at the time, at my Aunts house in the UK) I fully expected a good mark and it'd be smooth sailing from there. I'd worked my bum off. I'd done everything that was required.

I got 57.


All that work, and still 3 marks short.

Luckily I was able to enrol in an Arts Degree and make Economics my major, so I was still able to take the subjects I needed in the hope I could switch to a full Economics degree in second year (which I did, and changed to Macquarie University, so it worked out).

In a blow that I am still injured by, UNSW dropped the requirement to have 60 in Maths the following year.

So good luck all you Year 12s.  Keep Calm. Carry On. And you're not going to end up where you think. I promise you that :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All About... Sami Lee

I've been blogging here for over six years, and I posted my 1000th post the other day. So I thought it was about time that I stopped blahing-on about myself and maybe introduced a few other people wo inhabit my realm.  

Each Friday I'll be putting up an interview with a fellow writer, blogger, family member, friend (online or IRL), or commenter.  

Sadly I have not yet talked my mother into an interview. But I will persist.

First up is the wonderful, amazing Sami Lee.  
Sami and I got to know each other when we were published with Samhain Publishing back when everyone was saying this e-book thing was a load of codswallop...

First, the basics…
Who are you? 
Sami Lee—wife, mother, employee, writer of sexy romance novels. So obviously I am Wonder Woman 2.0 (C: You totally are)
What occupies your time? See above. All of that.
Where do you live?? Queensland, Australia
Who do you live with?? With my husband and two sassy, smart and stupendous daughters.
Day job / other job?? Three days a week I am a lowly public servant. Very lowly, but it pays the bills. Writing feeds my soul.
Secret gifts / talents / hobbies... I don’t really have time for hobbies. Reading and writing used to be my hobbies but now I consider them work. I’m clueless in the garden, I hate golf, not a fan of board games, I can barely sew on a button let alone knit or crochet. So it seems I don’t like much and have a talent for even less. Hmm. Should I feel bad? (C: Nah!)
Interesting stuff I’d like to know about you… 

1.     Finish the sentence…
I love… Rainy mornings spent in bed (C: Nice)
I hate… Rainy mornings spent ferrying the kids to school and daycare (C: With you there!!)

2.     Tell me a story about your car / a car you loved?? 
My first car was a 1969 light blue VW Beetle. I LOVED that car and had many adventures in it… the details of which I will not repeat lest my children ever read this and think they can get away with the same kind of hijinks. 
I once had an accident in it (not surprising as I tended to treat it like a dogem car). I came off the road and careened into a ditch. But the beetle just drove the length of the ditch and bounced back out again. I kid you not. I was alone in the car and am not sure anyone’s ever believed me, but I for one have had faith old fashioned German engineering ever since.
3.     I'm a bit of a weather nerd. Tell me about your preferred type of weather?? I actually like winter. But then I live in Queensland so our winters are pretty wussy compared to those in the southern states. I like to wear jeans and boots and rug up with hot soup and we only get to do that a couple of months of the year. 
4.     What are you reading at the moment?? Is it good / bad?? I’m reading something called Dirty Little Secrets by Julie Leto. I got it for 99c on Amazon and it’s fantastic. 
5.     What frugal thing do you do?? Have you got a sneaky money saving tip??  Growing up in a one income, four children family, I used to watch my parents penny pinch and it’s a lifelong habit I don’t think I could shake even if I made JK Rowling’s money (well, maybe I could then). 
I believe if you don’t crush your own herbs and chop your own veg and make your own bloody stock then it’s not real cooking. I don’t get time to cook like that every day, believe me. More often than not on a work night it’s spaghetti on toast.  But when I’m organised I do a few things on the weekend and we eat those during the week eg. Good old spag bol which the kids love (using stock and tinned tomatoes, not instant sauce), chicken curry (with the old Keens curry powder and leftover chicken pieces. Yum), stuff like that. Curried sausages is another great frugal recipe that you can make ahead of time and if you do it mild the kids will even eat it. Tuna bake, shepherds pie…
6.     Do you do something awesome to save the planet??  I am absolutely obsessed with turning off lights. Lights shining and not being used drive me crazy. We also compost and recycle and all that.
7.     Most amazing place you’ve ever been? What made it so amazing?? Have you got a pic? Probably the Greek Islands when I went years and years ago, long before digital photography, so no pics. It was so peaceful and different to anywhere else I’ve been.
8. Tell me about your secret weakness… Salty snacks… but that’s not really a secret. Neither is my weakness for firemen (imaginary ones of course). Actually I’m not very secretive about my weaknesses at all.
9. Tell me about your greatest strength… Just writing books really. Starting with a blank page and ending up—after much hair pulling and angst—with something that brings people enjoyment. I am stunned that I’m able to do that. 
Nitty Gritty at the end…
Tell me about your books...
I wrote a big ol’ menage a trois erotica novel called Erica’s Choice that came out this past August. It’s big I tell you, and complex and sad and joyful and all that jazz. It’s published by Samhain Publishing and you can find out more about it at my website I also write straight male/female sexy to erotic romance if menage is too full on. Guests are always welcome to browse the bookshelf page on my site for something that strikes their fancy.

Where can we find you??
You can find me on all your usual social media...

Thanks Cait!

C: Totally my pleasure. Thank you for being brave enough to be the first interview!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Happily Ever After Giveaway - 3 x $10 Amazon Giftcard

Drive Me To Distraction is being released on 1 November 

The publishers have let us have a sneak peek of the cover just for this giveaway
 Its not quite finished yet!

Drive is currently available for pre-order at the sale price of $2.99 (usually $5.99)...
Amazon UK
iBookstore (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)

To celebrate I'm giving away a $10 Amazon Giftcard to three lucky readers :) Get your entries in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shadows + What I Read


I am trying to catch up on my Photo a Day photos. I am, as usual not doing particularly well at this. But I am trying nonetheless.

The prompt for October 5 was Shadow.  Yesterday was a lovely sunny day and I was all prepared to go outside and take arty photos of shadows on the ground and blah on about them. But then it got dark before I made it out the door, and today its overcast and rainy and there's not a shadow to be found.

But then I realised I have excellent shadows, ones I carry around with me.  The shadows under my eyes...
Apologies for feral eyebrows
I've always been a crap sleeper.  My overtired brain kicks into hyper mode and sleep eludes me for hours and hours.  So I have shadows under my eyes permanently. Probably like most of us with kids!

What I Read  
I often get asked what I read. Almost as much as I get asked about 50 Shades of Grey - no I haven't read it.

I was once a voracious reader.  But once I'd had kids my reading dropped off, mostly because I couldn't get to bookshops or browse.  My saviour was the kindle. It made a huge difference to me.

Kindle version of Time
and my faithful footwarmer
I'm a Non-Fiction junkie. Whilst I do read fiction, I tend to reach more for non-fiction. Magazines such as Time, The Economist, Wired. Historical biographies, books on current world events, books about the care and feeding of chickens or children with aspergers, race car drivers, or the Stuxnet worm, you know, things like that.  I use the information I glean from this reading in my own books.

People often ask me about how I put together my books, and the answer is from reading all this non-fiction and then weaving it into a fictional plot.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

This Happened Today...

Was fossicking about in the chook pen. As you do. And came across a stash of 20 eggs. Added to the 15 already in the fridge and you get this...
Would anyone like an omelette or something?
Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day: This Happened Today
Another thing that happened today...
I launched my new website. Check it out at
Some links on the blog have been shifted about. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Monday, October 08, 2012


So its the end of the school holidays. The first week was feral. Its always feral. Miss 6 has a big reaction to the change in routine and when she's not having a meltdown she's fighting with her sister or just breaking stuff. Then, after about five or six days she comes good and I get to hang out with the darling angel that lurks beneath the aspergers.  This is the side of her that keeps me going, even on the worse days.

The holidays were made just that much harder because I've been sick. The flu. Ten days of sore throats, sinuses, coughing, sneezing and temperatures.

Organisation that extends as far as planning meals has not been high on my list of priorities.

But, still, even I was horrified when a five minute whip around of the play room produced this many Unhappy Meal Toys.  Lunchtime indeed.

Fat Mum Slim photo a day: Lunchtime

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Where You Stood...

Have you heard about Fat Mum Slim's photo a day??  Click here. All will be explained.

I've been wanting to take part since January (it may or may not have been some kind of new years resolution thingy, ahem) but I keep missing the start of the month and then deciding I'll do it next month and then children, writing, husband, dog, world oil crisis (pick excuse) blah etc blah blah...


Better late than never, as they say.

Where You Stood...

I stood there, on the end of that jetty and peered down into the water.  It was so crystal clear that you could see the fish waiting in the shade for the next fisherman to give them a free feed. The breeze was light, just enough to take away the heat of the sun, and the lap lap of the water against the wooden piers was blissfully soothing.

For the first time in weeks my mind slowed, stress drifted away, and I realised that however things turn out, its all going to be okay.

Pic taken at Koala Shores, a holiday park at Lemon Tree Passage in the Port Stephens region of NSW. Highly recommend the place, esp if you've got kids.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A sorely needed break

There is nothing like a break to put things in perspective.  There is nothing like enough sleep, enough water to drink and some exercise to make that overwhelmed feeling go away, to be replaced with calm and confidence.

We just got back from a divine week in Port Stephens.

There was much swimming and eating, hubs and I had a chance to talk and talk especially about Miss 6 and our next steps in this complicated task of giving her the support that she needs.  Not that we've made any firm decisions, but we've got a plan in place and will start making phone calls and so on next week.

Drive is out in three weeks, I've got exciting news coming about my next story, we're heading into the last cruisy term of the school year and contemplating a long hot summer ahead.

Life is looking brighter :)