Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Still Editing


It gets wearisome after a while, but I do want this submission to be good, so I must edit!

I'm going along fairly well. I should be finished the editing in a couple of weeks. Then I'll leave it for a couple more weeks and come back to it for a final review before submitting.

'It' is, by the way, the first book of The Seraphimé Saga entitled The Osprey and the Crow. It will be submitted to a competition in the U.K. Thank goodness I live in the Commonwealth still, and am eligible for such a competition!

Right, I have a lot to do today, starting with breakfast. Have a great Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maybe Manic?

You know, I'm thinking that I might be a little manic. I went from feeling pretty low yesterday morning, to dancing in my chair that afternoon.

To be fair, though, I was recovering from an illness...

Today I feel great! There are two reasons I attribute my current good mood:

1. Kick-boxing.

2. 80's music. That's right. You read correctly. 80's music.

Most everyone who reads this blog must be aware by now that I am a HUGE fan of Kick-boxing. I wouldn't ever voluntarily jump into a ring and beat the crap out of someone, but I enjoy watching the fights, and I enjoy the training even more. Last night was particularly satisfying. We did high round-house kicks. Sigh. Those were good times.

I have some advice, then, for people who are suffering from what I call 'the Blahs.' That advice is simple. Get out and do some exercise. It doesn't have to be a full on hour of kick-boxing followed by an hour of Kung Fu followed by an hour of Tai Chi (an average Tuesday night for me). It might only be a 15 minute walk after dinner or during the day, but I guarantee you, you will feel better for getting out of the recycled air in your home/office and doing something.

As for the 80's music, who could ever possibly resist the awesome cheese that is 80's power ballads? Come on, I mean, when you hear St. Elmo's Fire how can you not dance in your chair? It's cheesy, and it's message is about breaking free and making it despite the odds. The same goes for Survivor's Eye of the Tiger, and so many other songs from the 80's. They tended towards that sort of thing rather than the "everything sucks, it's too hard, I'm feeling sorry for myself" messages that modern music seems to have (I'm not dissing modern music. While most of it is utter crap, there is some stuff that is just spectacular - and sometimes you need the angry 'everything sucks' music).

So, if ever you're feeling dreary, just blast those 80's tunes and dance!

Thus, for everyone out there who is feeling a bit down, here is St. Elmo's Fire to cheer you up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rediscovering Music

I chanced across this song yesterday when I was home ill. I thought I'd share it with you. It is one of my favourites, and I just adore the music video:

Lovely, no?

Well, have a great Tuesday everyone. I've got a tonne of work to catch up on.

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Bed

I'm ill today, so there won't be any writing of any kind in any way whatsoever. I'm going to curl up in bed with some tea, possibly soup if I can find it, and hope that it all stays down.

Though I may not be writing, I will be day-dreaming... which is half the work, really.

In any case, make sure you have a great Monday for me, 'cause I have a feeling this one's not going to be quite so good. It's just a feeling.

Friday, September 24, 2010

We Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Programme

Good morning!

Imagine that being said in a bright, sing-song sort of voice.

I'm back, and I'm better. All the personal rubbish is behind me, and I can at last concentrate on getting my writing done. Except, not today. Today is French Friday, so I'll be continuing with my French lessons.

On the brighter side of my currently bright mood, there is no Lion Dance tomorrow morning. I'm in two minds about it. I like the training. However, I also like to sleep in. Considering that I was almost extremely late for work today, I probably need the sleep. Also, that means more time to cuddle the kitties.

Also, a big, giant 'I LOVE YOU' to G.H. who is celebrating her birthday today.

Right, I'm blithering on about nothing. So, I shall leave it here and let you enjoy your Friday. Have a great weekend everyone! I shall be back Monday, barring hell and or high water.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We Are Not Entitled

I have been struck dumb by people's attitudes over the past few months. I'd like to take this opportunity to remind people of something very important:

We are not entitled.

Just because you've written a book, it doesn't mean you will be published. You are not entitled to be published. If you want to be published, you need to do the work that will get you there. Period.

In life, if you want something, then you get off your arse and go get it. No one said it would be easy. So why do you get all stroppy at the slightest set-back?

I've heard authors rant and rave like lunatics over the most polite of form rejections.

How dare they? My book is nothing but genius. Acquisition Editors are idiots. The publishing industry is one giant doodle-head (I stole that one from BBC's Merlin... ahem, moving on). It's everyone else's fault but my own.

Get over yourselves, people.

Granted, I've been upset at all the rejections, and I'm currently burnt out from working like hell trying to get published (but I'm resting up so I can keep at it). Never once, however, have I called anyone in the industry names. Never once did I blame anyone else but myself for my current state.

I'm not entitled to be published just because I've written a book (or 6). If my book is good. If I'm doing the work. If I persevere. If I manage to keep my head and keep writing and keep working, then I will be published.

However, I have to work to get there. A publishing opportunity isn't going to just fall in my lap.

And it's not going to fall into yours, either. So get off your arse, and do the work!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Everything But...

I've been doing everything but writing this week. I'm sure you'll forgive me. I've needed a few personal days to rest, recharge, and most of all, gather myself together. It's been a rough fortnight.

I don't intend to do much writing this week. I'll relax a little longer and start up fresh next week. Once all this is done, I'll take an extended break, I think.

I'm not staying away from writing forever. I just need a little time for me. Ever since I "decided" that I wanted to get published, it's been a mad whirlwind of activity, and I just need some time to breathe. Breathing is good.

In writing news, Writer's Beware has a brilliant blog post up today. Read it here.

Right, I'm off to amuse myself with British panel shows. Have a great Wednesday all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Anger Stage of Grief

Some of you may have noticed that, over the past week, I have been pretty down.

There was some personal rubbish that had really upset me. I am happy to say that as the anger stage of the grieving process begins to settle in, I'm doing much better. Back to my old self, in fact. Not that I'm perpetually angry, or anything.

This mood was in no way related to my writing... well, no more than usual. I mean, there are only so many rejections a writer can take. All besides the point.

The point is, I'm feeling much better now.

A very large part of why I am feeling better is a British show called Never Mind the Buzzcocks. You can find most of the episodes of this hilarious game show on Youtube. Don't get mad BBC. All the fans want the show released on DVD, and you know it! In any case, this show cracks me up. I fall over laughing watching it. So, because I enjoy it so much, I'll give you a little taste. Ready?

You're Welcome.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: The Princess and the Captain

The Princess and the CaptainThe Princess and the Captain by Anne-Laure Bondoux

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I know I would have loved if I had read it when I was about seven.

The story is imaginative. However, I don't feel that its full potential had been reached.

I had great difficulty sympathising/empathising with the characters. They were much more characters than they were people. Events that should have made me cry had absolutely no effect on me - which is unusual, as I tend to cry a lot when reading sad things.

A great read for the very young, but not something I would recommend to adult readers as I would, say, 'Over Sea Under Stone.'

View all my reviews

Friday, September 17, 2010

In Which I Received an Award

One Lovely Blog

I have, apparently, won this award. The deal is, in accepting this award, I have to award this to 15 other blogs. I don't follow 15 other blogs, so I'm stuck. This is kind of like a chain letter, I guess, and yes, I am breaking the chain. It's a nice thought though!

Thanks to Anna Walls for the award. You can check out her blog right here:

Anna is a fellow aspirant who has self-published one title, King by Right and Blood. I reviewed it a little while back. It's a great read for young adults.

My mood has increased dramatically since Wednesday, which was the lowest of lows that I had been in since High School. I figured there must be something missing from my diet, so I bought some zinc and vitamin B complex. It has helped. Also, the reappearance of sunlight gave me my vitamin D, and that is a known mood enhancer. Also, I get to sleep in tomorrow, which is a known mood enhancer also.

I think I was just burnt out. Too much editing. Too much training (I've been off it for three weeks, and jumping straight in to a four-night training spree was difficult on me. I must be getting older!). Too many demands on my time by too many people. You know, all the stuff that makes you want to curl into a ball under blankets and hide until it's all over.

However, I am better now, and that's what counts!

Today is, of course, French Friday. Which means I'll be continuing on with my French lessons. However, there is some important work of a secret nature which must be done beforehand. Thus, I will be late with my French.

Alright, I must go do this secret work. I bid you all a very fond farewell. I shall blog again Monday. Onward!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Rough Cut

I watched the rough cut of the book trailer for The Dying God last night. It was good! I can't wait to see the finished thing. Which reminds me, I need to send images to the director/editor/awesome flatmate.

In more personal news, I haven't been attending my writing for the past two days. I fell into a very bad mood. I wasn't angry, just depressed. I actually haven't been that down since High School, and that is pretty down. I'm still feeling a little sad, but it looks like the mood is starting to lift. That's something.

Depression is a strange thing. For me, at least, it isn't constant. Does that make me manic? Usually, I will get a little depressed every so often. Once or twice a month, perhaps. It usually doesn't last longer than a day or two.

The kind that I've been experiencing this week is much deeper, much more harsh.

Just so you all know I am not mentally unstable. Well, not very mentally unstable, there is a reason for my mood, but it's a little too close to my heart to share with you all.

So for those of you who have had to put up with my moping around, I apologise. Don't worry. I'm fine. Or I will be.

Have a great Thursday everyone. I'm going to watch episodes of Never Mind the Buzzcocks to life my mood. It never fails!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking a Personal Day

I reserve the right to be as withdrawn as I want.

I reserve the right to demand space.

I reserve the right to require silence.

I'm having a personal day.

That is all.

Oh, and I'm still editing The Osprey and the Crow.

Now that is all. Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Work, Work, Work


You know, I consider myself very blessed. I make just enough money to pay my bills and have just a little fun on the side (just). My job allows me to pursue my dreams, and even encourages my doing so.

I am so very lucky!

It sometimes helps to remind myself that, especially when I'm feeling low, or anxious, or lost. Like today.

But, I am not going to let it get to me. I have so much going for me right now, and so much work to do, and work that I love to do, that I really have nothing to complain about.

So, I'm shaking off this funk and getting stuck into editing. I want this manuscript to be as close to perfect as possible before I submit it for the competition.

Have a great Tuesday everyone. I've already decided that I will!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I should really say 'filming' in the title to be absolutely correct, but it isn't nearly as intriguing as the word 'shooting.' That says a lot, doesn't it?

In any case, I was away from town all weekend. My flatmate and I were up at her grandparents' cottage. We headed up Saturday afternoon and returned late Sunday night. It was absolutely wonderful to be out of the city! No internet, no phone, just the lake, the breeze, and a good read. The good read came in very handy when, on Sunday, it started to rain in the early afternoon and did not stop at all.

Reason for journey no. 1 - to film scenes for the 'The Dying God' book trailer.

Reason for journey no. 2 - to get the hell out of the city!

We got all the footage we need, and I'm quite excited about what J.M-B. will cobble together. I owe her so much for this. She's a superstar!

So, if you were wondering where I was all weekend, that's where.

Now that I'm back in the city, and back at work, I have to go over The Osprey and the Crow. There's some fixing up to do. I have three more Beta Readers to hear from as well. We'll see what they have to say!

Also, training begins again this evening. I am ridiculously excited to be getting back to kick-boxing!

Right, I have work to do, and so do you! Have a great Monday everyone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Need a Cheer?

Yesterday, while I wasn't cranky anymore, I was quite sad. I was having a whole host of negative thoughts that can be summed up thus:

My life is going nowhere. I am such a failure.

I'm better now, but that's largely because yesterday morning, I came across two things. One made me laugh so hard, I got the hiccups, and the other made me smile because perhaps humanity isn't a waste of evolutionary effort after all.

Here is what made me laugh so darn much (thanks little bro):
And this is what put a smile on my face (thanks big sis):

Today is French Friday, which means I'm continuing with my French lessons. There is no writing or editing today. A good thing too. I think my mood has been a result of a pretty severe burn-out. Have a lovely weekend everyone! I shall see you Monday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Moving On

I was very cranky yesterday, but managed to channel most of my frustration at life into Overlord. The result was almost 3 500 words at the beginning of the book. I've removed over 50 000 words of story, so I have some making up to do, but I do think this new version will be much, much better. The part I removed was really a diversion - interesting, but really didn't serve the story well.

The remaining 50 000 words of story will have to be re-arranged and rewritten quite extensively as well. Reading over it yesterday, I realised I glossed over a lot of things that could be both interesting and pertinent to the story.

Today, I will try and finish up the scene I started yesterday. Then I have to get stuck into the first edits of The Osprey and the Crow. One of my Beta Readers has already finished and sent back notes and corrections. Thanks so much A.W!

I do have to get to work, so I'll leave it there. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday. Hopefully I will too!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I, Cranky

I am so cranky today. I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I don't understand why I'm cranky.

Last night there was an awesome thunderstorm. It was lovely, although it managed to scare both cats. I'm amused, normally Persephone doesn't care about thunderstorms, and Galahad is the one who runs away to hide beneath my bed. Poor thing. Well, this time, Galahad ran to hide beneath my bed, and Persephone cowered beneath the sofa in the living room. Poor little kitties. It amused me though.

I love thunderstorms.

Still, I woke up cranky.

Oh well. I'll get over it.

Yesterday was not as productive as I had hoped it would be. The computer was so painfully slow it took me two hours just to check my email. So, the best I could do was review The Dying God. Something is fishy with word. I'm certain that I had already made the corrections that I made again yesterday. Today, I'm going to open up the document to see if Word is, in fact, not saving my changes. I wouldn't put it past this computer.

Today, I finally tackle Overlord. I'm so terrified.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone. Oh, and a huge shout-out to S.D., who is celebrating her birthday today. Right, off to work I go.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Lazy Long Weekend...

In which I managed to accomplish absolutely nothing.

It was good.

I have started rereading The Dying God & Other Stories to look for little errors before it's published. There's a surprising amount of small stuff that has slipped through the cracks. When that's done (this round ought to be finished today), I'll then be tackling Overlord, Book III of The Great Man series.


It terrifies me a little bit. I'm removing the entire main story of that book, and making a smaller side story the main focus. That means I'm getting rid of four major characters, not to mention pretty much all of the 100 000 words of that book. Then I'm rewriting, well, almost everything.

Book I took me a day. Book II took me a week. Book III will probably take me three months.

If you don't hear from me again, you know that the story got me, and is probably holding me hostage in some dank dungeon somewhere. Please, please, please send a rescue party! No seriously. A huge party. With balloons. Oooh, and music!

Alright, here goes... wish me luck! Have a lovely Tuesday everyone. Gulp.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tomorrow, When the War Began

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. Above is the trailer for a movie that I really hope will make it to cinemas in North America. It's the film adaptation of the remarkable book Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden.

Mr. Marsden, when I was still in high school (I can't remember exactly when. I think I was in grade nine.) came to my school (Blackheath and Thornburgh College) in Charters Towers and gave a talk on what it was like for him to be an author. I should have known I would be an author when I got prickles on the back of my neck when he talked. Some things he said struck a chord in me and were similar to my experiences writing - even back then when I was certain I'd become a fighter pilot.

I remember his talk in pieces. There are certain things he said that made me nod my head and smile. 'That is how writing feels!' I would think to myself when he related to his writing process as like being on a roller coaster. The story is tumbling out at breakneck speed, and the pen, being in the cart that is the story, has no choice but to scribble it all down as fast as possible. It can sometimes feel a little out of control.

He also said something else that at the time I found sad, and now I find it profound. Mr. Marsden did not receive a lot of support in his youth. He was told by a teacher (I believe it was his English teacher, ironically... though it was a long time ago, and I might be making it up) that he would never get anywhere in life. Hah! Didn't he show them up! I find it profound now because I am so very deeply grateful that I did not have to suffer through that. I do not have to struggle against everyone else's doubt as well as my own, as Mr. Marsden did.

Sure, I was bullied incessantly by my peers. However, not one person I respected ever told me that I couldn't do [insert dream here], or that I would amount to nothing. Even now, with my online network of friends, I have found some incredible support from people I've never actually met. I'm looking at you Chuck and Jaimey.

I don't think I could have done what I have done in life without such support, and so I have a profound respect and admiration for John Marsden.

Also, this movie was filmed in Australia, with an Australian cast and it looks AWESOME! One of my favourite parts of the story - the little love story between Lee and... that girl whose name I can't remember right now.

It has already opened in theatres in Australia and New Zealand, and will be shown at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. Let's hope it'll open in theatres in North America soon as well.

Go see it.

But read the book first. It is available at Chapters and probably Amazon as well.

Also, sorry this post is late... I almost forgot to post at all today. It's a long weekend this weekend, so I probably won't be posting Monday. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Unlocked September Competition

Hi all!

The wonderful people at who organised, edited and were generally brilliant about Unlocked, the anthology I, along with nine other talented authors, contributed to, have just posted up a new competition! How's that for a ridiculously long sentence?

Here is the prize:

Gorgeous, no? It came out super large in the preview... so it's probably waaay to big for the post space.

Here's what you have to do:

First, join the 'Unlocked' group. You can do that here.

Second, download your free copy of Unlocked (or buy if you prefer paperback). You can do that here.

Third, read it.

Lastly, write an honest review of the book and post it up on the competition thread (here).

Easy as pie, no? Alright, then, there's a necklace that needs a-winning. Hop to! I have to review The Dying God & Other Stories again and make sure that it is super ready to be published. I am, of course, doing so because the thought of the amount of work I have to do for The Great Man series terrifies me.

Must dash. Have a great Thursday and good luck!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Year to the Day

Wow, life moves fast doesn't it?

This time last year was my first ever day as J.MB's flatmate. We giggled a lot, as I recall. Not much has changed. We still giggle a lot. J.MB. has to be one of the best friends I have ever made. I am so incredibly thankful to be her flatmate.

To think, I thought I would be living in hell once I moved in with someone. You think I'm joking? All my experiences with flatmates before last September 1st were horrific. One experience was so terrible it drove me out of the country for a month. When I returned, I vowed to never, ever, EVER live with anyone EVER again.

The universe, it seems, had other ideas.

You see, when my landlords informed me that they needed the basement for their own use, and we agreed upon August 31st being the move-out date, I went into bachelor/studio apartment hunting mode. I spent hours browsing through listings. I visited tonnes of places. When I realised I couldn't afford it on my own, I relented and sought out my Kung Fu brother, K.C., who was also apartment hunting. I figured that living with a guy flatmate would be less horrific than living with a girl (all my horrid experiences were girl flatmates).

"No," said the universe.

Unexpected events meant that K.C. was unable to move out as yet. I was back on my own. So back to studio apartment hunting I went. Then another Kung Fu brother came to the rescue. His girlfriend had graduated university and was moving out. She rented an affordable studio apartment and he could arrange it so that I simply take over the lease. Nice!

"No," said the universe.

The landlady, despite being told of my intentions to take over the lease, rented out that apartment to someone else. Nooooo!

It just so happened that before my Kung Fu brother and I shook hands on that apartment, I received an email from a friend of a Kung Fu sister, M.K. That very distant acquaintance was none other than J.MB. Her flatmate was moving out, and she had heard along the Kung Fu grapevine that I was looking for a place, and would I mind moving in.

"Hah!" I thought. "I already have a place!" So I emailed her back and told her thanks, but no thanks. Didn't the afore mentioned apartment fall through the very next day. Sheepishly, I emailed her back and asked if the room was available, and it was. I agreed to move in.

"Yes," said the universe, despite my pleading and begging and crying not to make me move in with anyone.

Turns out, the universe knew what it was doing. It was the best move I ever made.

Thank-you, universe!

And so, to my flatmate and friend:


Thank-you for being you.

Right, I have work to do, and so do you lot. Hop to it then, and have a wonderful Wednesday.