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So, where DO I get my ideas from?

So, where DO I get my ideas from?

Hi everyone, I’ve decided to share exactly what I mean when I say ‘Life inspires me’ when answering the question in the title of today’s blog post.

I personally feel this is the most common question set to Writer’s by those who don’t have an imagination so fierce it is crawling about in their brain like ants. Or maybe that’s just me and actually a scalp issue I need looking at? 😉

Some people simply appear perplexed I am able to make up stories out of seemingly nothing and I just want to set the record straight and give some examples of where I do get stories from to try and encourage others to have a go at writing them!

So, where do I get my stories from? I’m a watcher. I like to watch life go past, analyse it, pocket snippets and thoughts of it away for later. Yes, I am that introvert in the corner of a busy room simply watching and listening and storing data… And I would like to see a Writer who isn’t!

I remember taking a friend (and well known author I’m not about to name drop) for a wander through the Stirling markets here in the Adelaide Hills. The street we wandered was lined with oak trees and when I pointed out that the name of the street was Druids Avenue – I could see that data spark in her eyes, almost watch it being store away for use later… I could see it as this is how I see the world too. Everything has potential as a story idea.

Sometimes it’s a simple one liner – see my creations of ‘Dodo Radio’ in Bonnie’s Story (well, in the blog posts and possibly in any sequel I may write). I was just having a 140 character chat with another Author friend via a certain piece of social media and we were discussing the differences between radio in Australia versus the UK. I would kill to have radio like BBC4 here! Well, not literally kill, but strongly hug at the very least – and I am a big lady after all so kill… meh, I digress. 😉

Yes, Australian radio and it’s lack of a spectrum as vibrant as radio in the UK had it described as ‘Dodo Radio’… which then led me off on train of thought that had me create the Dodo radio explained in one of Bonnie’s blog posts. That’s the sort of thing I mean when I say life inspires me.

I also find news headlines inspire me. I can’t say the entire article does, and sometimes I don’t even bother reading that part… but a simple one line can spark that creative fire in my brain. Though in the case of the two examples I’m about to give, I did read the articles… and then turned them into things they weren’t meant to be.

Now, with these examples, I would dearly love to see some new and eager Writers take the story and run with it. I can’t publish it, I can’t pay you for it, but I can (hopefully) inspire you to use it… or at least see how easy it is to pluck a story idea from the normal every day.

And so, here we go. Where do I get my story ideas from? Well, this is where…

Recently, while browsing the ABC news on my phone (as I do first thing in the morning before getting up) I read through an interesting article about how they are thinking of introducing a fish herpes to the Murray River as a way to combat the horrible pest species of carp that has been destroying it for decades.

What really got my imagination cogs going was where they talked about all the testing they would need to do first. I thought, fair enough; don’t want to wipe out all fish in the Murray with this disease. But my little grey cells sparked into life when it was mentioned they were also testing what this disease might do to humans… not only those exposed to the water, but those who ate foods grown in the area and watered with this diseased water!

Yes, the italics symbolise how exciting this whole concept was to me. Why? Oh, come on, who else doesn’t think pandemic explosion from food contaminated by something in its water supply? Just think of the speculative fiction ‘what if’ you could make from this! It could be your common garden virus or Ebola like thing wiping out the country and causing a dystopian lifestyle for some Young Adult to explore… or it could cause mutations or, dare I say it, be the catalyst for that zombie invasion so many people are jokingly prepping for. The possibilities are endless!

Now, please note I am not saying that the actual fish herpes virus would cause this at all. Hell no, I’m pretty sure the scientists are going to thoroughly test it first… and half of it is just fiction in anyone’s book. But I hope you can see what I mean about how something harmless I read in the news can be turned into some pretty interesting reading for someone else. 😉

Another recent example is (again with the ABC news first thing in the morning) a giant supernova, brighter than anything they’ve ever seen has just caught the attention of scientists and has them re-writing some of the info they thought they knew on supernovas. Nothing too exciting for we non-scientists, right? But there is a line in the article where they say “perhaps it’s not a supernova at all” and, well, they may as well have waved a red cloak at a charging bull with that line.

Yes, they did go on to say it might be a lot of other actual, real life sciencey stuff… but half my brain wasn’t listening any more. It was already off on another speculative fiction ‘what if’ journey with opening lines such as:

“At first they thought it was a new type of Supernova appearing in the night’s sky. But by the time they realised it was an invasion, it was too late…”

Yes, that is indeed how my mind works. I seriously can’t take it anywhere without that sort of thing happening.

And that boys and girls, is how I take life and get inspired to write what I write. Yes it’s not ‘True Crime’ or ‘Literary Fiction’, which most people say is what life inspires… no, life  – in the right set of hands or mind – can inspire any Writer of any genre to do what they do best: Write.

I guess it means Writer’s don’t see the world in the same way as others? Maybe another reason we need to wear badges so people realise we’re creating new worlds around us while walking down the street and watching a leaf casually blow across our path. We take in everything, we store everything, we feed everything into our imaginations and turn it into the most interesting compost in which we grow some pretty amazing things.

Heck, that paragraph alone could even be the start of a story too. What do you think? Have a go; I’d love to hear how it turns out. But you owe me a hot chocolate and brownie if you make it into a block buster novel. 😉

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in More pep talk than writing, Writing

 

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I suppose I should do one of those ‘it’s the New Year’ posts?

I suppose I should do one of those ‘it’s the New Year’ posts?

Hello everyone!

Yes, I left my blog on a bit of a downer a few weeks ago by using it to say goodbye to a dear friend who sadly passed away suddenly just before Christmas.

Then with all the bedlam of the Solstice, Christmas, the calendar New Year, my revolting Hordes (as in they kept revolting and refusing to help) and a big old nasty heatwave… yeah, like I had time to blog something merry, festive and bright.

I will add my PA (the Death of Rats) did try and lighten my mood, but after this incident leading to a severely mauled Santa, he was sent on his own Christmas break. There were just too many old, precious glass ornaments on my tree to trust him to be gentle. 😉

DoR Christmas

And so here I am, late for the Solstice post, late for the Christmas one too, and so I decided to go for the trifecta and be late for the calendar New Year post as well. Nailed it.

By the way, in case you’re wondering why I call it the calendar New Year – I’m Pagan, for me the old year dies and the new one begins with Yule… in June. I just conform and celebrate the end of the wall calendar and ceremony of putting a new calendar up at this time of the year. If there is any New Year at this end of the calendar, it’s the one where I get to shout Gong Xi Fa Cai and have an excuse to eat fortune cookies (like I need an excuse!)

But, I digress. 🙂

So… How have you all been?

Me, well besides all of the above, I’ve actually been a little busy.

Let’s see… Early December saw me sign my third publishing contract with Hague Publishing for the second in my Other World series There’s no place like Hell and I’ve even also been chipping away at the third book We represent the Demon Guild. The more I work on this series, the more I love the research I’m doing into the old ways of the afterlife and the supernatural – you know, before they were turned sparkly and into chick lit. This research has gotten to the point that had me wondering who the local Ankou and Dullahan would be as we sat up watching the calendar year end.

Yes, I’ve been hanging around researching the afterlife too long when I wonder how to greet the new Reapers in the neighbourhood. Oh these are the Reapers in our neighbourhood…. Sing it with me, we all know that old Sesame Street tune.;-)

Okay, focus Janis! So other than that, what else?

Well, my Reviewer blog is puttering along nicely. I mean, it’s not like it has hundreds of followers or even hundreds of hits each day… I can get dozens of hits… but not in the hundreds yet. All the same, I’m pleased with how it’s going as I’m getting a lot of good feedback from people regarding my reviews. I’ve apparently even helped sell a few books I’ve reviewed, so yay me! Shame there is no commission! I’ve also started to have authors and publishers approach me directly with reviewing opportunities. That and my son was sent something to review the other day… So, I’m either doing something right, or I’m just seen as an easy review. 😉 Oh cynical me shut up! We’re pretending it’s because I’m really good at what I do, okay!

I’ve also started reviewing ‘Supermarket grade’ chocolate over on that blog (another small hit) and have just launched Fairtrade Fridays this year to help promote how easy it is to buy and support Fairtrade on a budget. So go on over and check my Reviewer blog out here.

On and off near the end of the last calendar year I was also helping out with a bit of volunteering. I was the self-titled ‘Social Media Chick’ for a fantastic new local festival called: In the Raw Festival (it’s not what you think!) as well as trying to help out with ideas and promos for my favourite local podcast radio show called The Adelaide Show. Check them both out too, they’re pretty awesome. If they weren’t I wouldn’t be offering my services!

Seriously though, they are wonderful people and both places were willing to give me the chance to do some work experience for them and help keep my old IT grey matter going. I’m loving helping out as it does feel good being seen as more than just a mum, drudge, Horde Wrangler and Haus Frau.

Which leads me on to my latest big step… or mistake – depends on how you look at it! I’ve enrolled to do a degree in Internet Communications via Open Universities Australia as, you know, I didn’t feel run off my feet enough. I see this degree as a fantastic way to help expand my horizons on social media for myself (blogs and books) and for my passion of helping to promote local businesses. AND! Those who want to hire me to shake their assets for them for the cost of regular installments hot chocolate and cake – we should talk!

Yes, I plan on keep busy this year as I am tired of feeling like I am achieving nothing. I know I am achieving things… I just don’t feel like I am. I can’t work – thanks to my own health and helping Horde#3 getting acclimatised to full time school (I got to add unofficial Case Manager for HFASD son to my CV in 2015), I’m keeping busy with my reviewing, I joined a guild (spinners and weavers) and am learning new knitting skills and all in all with my Haus Frauing, cooking, writing, wrangling and volunteering – I was achieving things. Just none of it seemed to be achieved for me. And, as I’ve always wanted to have a degree in something – I never finished high school after all – I thought stuff it! I’m turning 40 and I’m getting a degree! Yes it’s a Bachelor of Arts, and my upbringing in the science section of a certain northern University means a BA is what the sissy girls do… meh, I’m putting my big girl granny knickers on and doing it! 😀

Right, now I’ve gone and justified that new debt in my life, here’s hoping I get the positives out of it I feel I will. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

And there you go, you’re all caught up with the whirlwind known as my life. All three kids are on school holidays, my eldest is about to turn 11 (OMG – 11!) and we’ve already had a few nasty bush fire scares even before the calendar New Year. But that’s summer in these glorious hills for you.

Hopefully I will have something more ‘Writer worthy’ for you in my next blog post.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

Boxing Day breakfast 2015

Boxing Day breakfast 2015. Local, fresh fruit and homemade baked goods… *drool*

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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Yesterday I lost a friend…

And, sadly, I don’t mean in the usual forgetful way where I know I put them down somewhere and now can’t seem to find them again.

No, fellow crazy lady, supporter of my chocolate milk for breakfast campaign, author, mum, wife and friend passed away.

Although I was a late comer to the circle of friends I now gather with to mourn your passing, although we haven’t physically seen each other for about a decade – we were still friends and you were thought of if not daily, at least weekly. And, of course, you will be missed. Not just by me, but by a league of friends, family and fans.

From where we first met as an immortal vampire and a neurotic Russian with dominance issues on a Starship, through to bouncing ideas off each other for story ideas, talking publishers through to being reviewers of each other’s work and chatting about Linkedin just last week. We both embraced, lived and breathed writing in a way that only a few others I know can understand.

You introduced me to that hairy man who had been living in your back room and, eventually, I went and did the dumb thing of marrying him, having a family and joining his family to mine. And, as you were part of his extended family, you too became a part of mine. You gave me my first bed to sleep in when I moved to Brisbane, opened your heart and home to me and accepted me for what I was… which hadn’t really happened in my life up until that point. So you touched and changed my life in ways I don’t think either of us knew until I now find myself reflecting on it all.

I cannot fathom exactly how much you are going to be missed as the loss I feel is overpowering enough… add to that the hundreds, if not thousands of lives you’ve touched and I’m surprised the world got up today and kept going along as normal as if nothing had happened.

You may be gone – way too soon – but you will never be forgotten.

Love and hugs to everyone else you have left behind.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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Yes, I DO blog for free… but only for me!

Yes, I DO blog for free… but only for me!

Okay, so there was a little artistic license used on the grammar in the title of this post, but I’m hoping you get the gist?

I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post today to try and raise awareness for those clever writers new to the whole ‘contributing online’ thing.

Why? Well, because I used to be green and eager and willing to agree to some pretty stupid terms and conditions – as long as my work appeared online. It had meant I’d made it in some small way… right?

Well, in most cases – wrong!

If you find a site willing to allow you to ‘blog for them’ – beware! I get invites to such things a lot. More so in recent months since my reviewing site has started to get some hits. Blogging for other people can sometimes mean more negatives than positives.

Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes blogging for someone else can be a good thing. I’ve done ‘Guest Blogger’ segments for places, and my reviews are often popping up on the social media sites of authors and publishers alike. But the big difference to that sort of blogging for others is the work is recognised as mine. Can you see how serious I am about possession? All that formatting for a four letter word – yes it does mean I have my serious face on!

When I am a guest blogger, a guest reviewer, a reviewer, etc. – the post and all rights to it still belongs to ME, the author. Most of the time I’m not paid when work is shared on someone else’s blog. Well, not in money. I get paid in other ways. If I’m being a guest blogger, it’s usually as a way to expose my work to a wider audience and encourage them to come visit my own blog or buy one of my books. If my reviews are shared, I’ve been paid by being given the item to review. Whether it be a book, block of chocolate, candle or a slow cooker. I get it, I read, eat, light or cook with it – I keep it. Sadly not all books I review are like this… but I’m working on that. 😉

What I’m trying to say is – in these cases – what I have written is acknowledged as being mine (whether it’s good or bad writing) and I have been rewarded for my efforts.

That is good blogging for free.

The bad blogging for free I’m trying to warn new Writers about is sites that invite you to come and post for them, but anything you post will belong to them and they can do with it, share it and use it for whatever they like and not have to share any of the money it may gain them with you. You’ve gotten nothing out of the deal. In most cases your name is even removed as they now legally own the work and so don’t have to even advertise who wrote it. It’s theirs, not yours. You might know it’s yours and show it off proudly to your friends and family… but if someone was to do an internet search on your name to see where you’d been published online – it wouldn’t show up. You would gain: no exposure as an author, no credit for work contributed, no financial gain – NOTHING!

Heck, if you’re okay with this as long as you know it’s your work – go do it, knock yourself out. Have fun with it.

Me, on the other hand, I’m past that part of my career. I’ve been writing for other people where my work has become their Intellectual Property as part of my contract to them. I did that for almost twenty years as an ITC Guru. Then again, I was paid for my work and even if it wasn’t mine to take with me when my contract ended… I’d still earnt cash in hand for the effort. I now work for myself and the only person I don’t expect to pay me for my writing is Myself.

 Now, I’m not trying to sound cocky or arrogant here, I’m trying to spell it out for Writers out there that their work is worth more than they realise. If you spend time out of your day writing something rather than going off and having a ‘real job’, you need to gain from that writing. Whether it be exposure, some kind of positive reward or even – shock horror – actual money, you still deserve it and people shouldn’t ask you do write for them for free.

Even the sites that ‘allow’ you to keep your name on work you post for them… take a long hard look at what they’re getting out of the deal. Is getting an article online that has your name on it but gains you nothing else really worth it? What is that post now being used for? Are the people you posted it to now using it to gain site traffic and therefore ‘pays per click’ to their site? In most cases they are you know, and therefore they should be paying you a percentage.

Just because it’s a ‘mere thousand words’ on a website – you still deserve payment. Whether it is a one off payment, or an ongoing percentage fee as royalties, you should be getting it. And by a one off payment, I do expect to get a decent amount. You’d be surprised what the actual, legal, going rate for a Writer’s work is… Maybe go check it out over at the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and see. You might be shocked at how much your work is really worth. As, according to ASA, you should get about $350!

And why is a writer’s work worth more than what people are willing to pay? Because the people offering to pay think writing is just putting words together. If they are even bothering to offer you money at all! But if you look at the time that goes into being a writer and put a per hour salary on it… it makes sense. I mean, it’s not as if most of us can write and be getting on with the rest of our allotted tasks. Me, I fit writing in around my Haus Frau duties… it’s why I’ve automated as much of my domestic duties as possible. I have a machine to wash the clothes, another to clean my dishes, yet others to bake and cook foods without my presence. Heck, I even have a robot to vacuum my floors. Basically, I do this to spend more time at my job. I used them when I was a contractor heading off to an office to earn a salary. And I use them now to give me the time to be sitting here and writing this before I have to go get my kids from school and continue on with my tasks as unpaid and underappreciated house drudge… erm, I mean Haus Frau. Sounds more posh when I say it in German and don’t spell it out for you, right? 😉

Basically, what I’m trying to say, is writing takes time. It takes time away from other things we could or even need to be doing… and so we deserve to be paid for that time.

As an author I get paid for the time I’ve spent writing a book by my Publisher doing their damnedest to then sell it. I get royalties. As my Publisher has put time and effort into my book, and also need to be paid, they get part of my royalties too. If I was to have an agent, they too would get part of the royalties as their payment. See, they expect to be paid for services rendered… why is it people don’t expect the same from a Writer?

I could go off on my usual rant about you don’t expect a hairdresser to cut your hair for free, or a café to hand over that hot chocolate and brownie for nothing… Why is a writer any different? We’ve put in time and effort to provide the service of ‘putting words together’, so pay us damn it!

Okay, if I go on I feel I would start repeating myself… plus it smells like the cake I’m baking for my Hordes as I’ve been writing this is about ready to come out of the oven. And as I’m yet to get a machine that will take the damned thing out of the oven and put it on a rack to cool, I’m going to have to go and do that. So it means I have run out of time to write. Still, I will be paid in cake for the services rendered so I’m not complaining. I make a pretty tasty cake.

But I do hope you, the new and still a little green around the ears Writer get what I’m trying to say? You are worth it. Your writing is yours to own and a service you are providing. Think about this before giving it away for free.

If you’re okay with giving it away for free, or for the exposure it brings, go for it. If you’re happy taking twenty dollars for a piece of your work to be published in a magazine, that’s your call too. But I would seriously look at that magazine first, see how much they sell for, how many people buy it and then decide whether they truly can’t afford more than the peanuts… or if they’re taking you for a ride. I’ve dealt with both. I’m more than happy to submit my work to a small time indie magazine for that amount… I’m really being paid in exposure and a few dollars. If it’s a large scale magazine, which take ownership of your work and pay a paltry sum (I’m looking at you Reader’s Digest) – I’d walk away now.

What I’m really trying to say is look into it all first. You’re clever (of course you are, you’re a Writer) so just take a look at the positives and negatives that may arise from giving away your work. Sometimes giving it away for free is a good stepping stone, but please PLEASE don’t turn it into your career.

Finally – yes cynical me is perfectly aware there are some places that will just take my blog posts off of my blogs and flog them as their own. It is copyright infringement; they do not have my permission and are often caught and dealt with. Those who aren’t… well I’m a strong believer in Karma and I know she’s an even bigger bitch than me and know one day she will ensure I get payment. 😉

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

cake and DOR

My PA sprung trying to cut the cake I was baking. My cake, he didn’t write the blog post. 😉

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in More pep talk than writing, Writing

 

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Spring cleaning my Author’s blog.

Spring cleaning my Author’s blog.

Hello everyone,

Just a brief blog post this morning – there will be a longer one (I hope) later in the week.

I just wanted to advertise that I’ve finally gotten around to adding some of Bonnie’s blog posts to my Author blog. These posts were originally posted on Bonnie’s Facebook Page a few years back. Check them out at Bonnie’s Blog Posts.

I’ve not added all of them yet… but have only a few more to go. As they are on a page, rather than the blog, they’re all in one great chunk you will need to scroll through to read. Still, I do hope you enjoy them and they help you catch up with some of the things Bonnie and The Gang got up to after Bonnie’s Story: A Blonde’s Guide the Mathematics ended.

Hopefully one day I’ll get the sequel sorted and done… 😉

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t actually read Bonnie’s Story yet, you can head over to Hague Publishing for a free sample or to Where to buy my books to find the best online bookstore for you to grab a copy.

Yup, my blog, my shameless plug.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Hello everyone, it’s November and around the world there are Writers sharing the love of our art and pushing their limits by taking part in NaNoWriMo… And, yeah, I’m not one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole idea of the different versions of NaNoWriMo and, in the past, I’ve even been invited to participate in a few. Heck, last year I even did my own version of a NaNoWriMo to inspire myself to finish the manuscript There’s no place like Hell – and I did indeed get a huge chunk of it done. But no NaNoWriMo for me this year.

Firstly – and I do blame my brain for why I’m not participating – I was inspired with a story idea in mid-October and once I’d got that bindi like thought burrowing into my brain I couldn’t help but start to write it down. I get like that. And as soon as I’d started I thought ‘well bugger! This would have made a perfect NaNoWriMo project’. And being the honest and ethical gal that I am I knew I couldn’t cheat and use it in NaNoWriMo and so just enjoyed the moment and wrote. I do that a lot. Think I should go with the cool kids in the writers gang and do the trendy things like NaNoWriMo… and then revert to my usual outlook of life – which is to do my own thing, when I want to and stuff the trendiods now looking down their noses at me for daring to boogie along to the beat of my own drum. Heck, I’ve lived almost 40 years with this attitude so a recent few years of NaNoWriMo can’t break the habit!

Another reason I’m not doing it is my Hordes had school swimming classes the whole first week of November. And, due to one thing or another (I won’t go into details and embarrass them) I had to be there for moral support and Horde #3 taming. The whole week. Five hours a day. Sitting poolside and giving the thumbs up sign anytime one of my kids looked my way. Yes, it was riveting… not.

I could not write there due to water issues with paper or laptop. And by the time I got us all home, their swimming stuff hung out, dinner on and them taking turns in the bath… urgh. I’m pretty sure all that chlorine and sun just burnt the imagination right out of me as I had nothing left. I found it hard coming up with something to put in a review for books I’d been reading, let alone try and make any of my stories come to life on my computer screen. Seriously, not a good start to NaNoWriMo so I decided to let it pass me by for another year.

Saying that, I will consider invites to this awesome event come October 2016. I can’t say I’ll actually agree to any said invites, but I will consider them. 😉

My drum, my boogie. Just remember that.

However, I am indeed writing this November. I’ve been working on book three in the Other World series – We represent the Demon Guild. It’s coming along nicely and the remaining two unwritten books are starting to gel in my brain and I think I finally know how it’s all going to end. Yay!

Sadly, I’ve discovered that the more I learn about hell and the afterlife and all that Other World stuff, the more I need to tweak There’s no place like Hell. What a relief it’s still in the holding pattern over at my publisher’s and I can still fiddle with it. Far better than if I discovered the holes in my world’s existence after it was published. So, phew!

Other than that it’s still the same old reviewing of things. I’m also going to be redoing a lot of my blog structures over the coming months to line them all up, tidy them up and really start to gather an audience. So do drop me a line if you’re interested in checking some of the others out.

Finally, as much as don’t like celebrating Christmas before December 6th… it is indeed the time of year to start prepping for that silly season. Cards to write, food to start hoarding, baking lists to go over. I will be experimenting with chocolate again this year to test a theory I have about cashew cream white chocolate. Hoping for the best with that one.

Okay, that’s me done. Yes I know a lot of people this week have turned their blog posts into a bit of a soapbox moment regarding the violence in the world right now, but I chose not to. Why? Well I do feel deeply saddened by all the pain and misery… but I’ve felt this way all my life as this sort of thing is always happening. And, like with a tantrumming child – I will not react or respond to their bad behaviour. It’s what they want.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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Happy Halloween everyone!

Hi, remember me? Yeah, I kind of used to blog here but seem to have forgotten to in a while. 😉

I will admit I have been meaning to post for some time and have about four pages of notes I’ve made on topics to blog about…. Yeah, they so helped didn’t they?

But with the usual family goings on and a simply fantastic (note sarcasm) winter for illness… I’ve spent more time over on my reviewer blog. As that’s what I do when I’m not well – I read. And what happens when you get sent a free book in exchange for an open and honest review? Well, I don’t know about you, but I always feel obliged to actually review it. So, that sort of justifies all the activity over there while over here even the lonesome cricket has stopped chirping and have buggered off to somewhere else. 😀

However, as ‘that time of year’ has come upon us again, here I am wishing you all a Happy Halloween once more. In the past I’ve used this time to have a bitch about all the anti-Halloween sentiment here in Australia and the double standards of our ‘pick and mix’ multi-cultural society… but I’m over all that. I’m tired of focussing on the negatives and for the past year I’ve been seeking the positive in every situation I’ve faced. Both good and bad, always seek the positive. And so this year I’ve capered about and celebrated Halloween with reckless abandon. Don’t believe me? Here’s a pic.

Me witch 2015

It’s me trying on one of my many witches hats. Yes, many. And they’re not all just Halloween costumes… figure that one out. 😉

And have you met my new Personal Assistant?

DOR2

I picked him up at a local “dollar store” and saw sooo much potential in that plastic (naked) rat skeleton I just had to take him home, make him a cowl and scythe and set him to work.

He now sits with me at my writing desk keeping my company, but also sometimes goes off to get other things done while I work. Check out my Instagram account here if you don’t believe me.

The best thing about my PA – known as the Death Of Rats around here- is like any pet… he’s not just for the holiday season, he’s for life. Or, being plastic, until I get distracted by something else – then he’ll get popped up on a shelf to gather dust like all my other stuff. 😉

So he won’t be disappearing after Halloween and will hopefully inspire me to be the best I can be when sitting at my desk either writing, editing or reviewing (for others). Admittedly I can also see him aiding my procrastination by going off and getting instagramed doing something he maybe shouldn’t be doing… But that comes with being my Personal Assistant. That’s just assisting in procrastinating. Something for his CV!

Best bit of all about my PA is I can pay him with belly rubs, see?

belly rub

If I ever have to replace him with an actual real person PA… I hope they’re okay with this form of wages.

And so Halloween is here… Tomorrow! It might be spring and my Pagan soul might be screaming that it’s Beltane and not Samhain so enough with the Autumnal themes… but hey! I’m a multi-cultural Pagan and can accept this is just the way it is and not knock a holiday that allows me the chance to draw pumpkin faces on oranges, shrunken skull faces on walnuts and make up really gross names for my baking. Have you tried my blood and bone crunch, blood mud pies or graveyard dirt wedges?

halloween4

I do hope this little post will encourage me to keep coming back and filling you all in on my life as an Author, Haus Frau and the other stuff I get up to. I’ve started writing a lot again lately, which is awesome – thank you positive attitude (and possibly the Vit B and probiotic combo I now take with my ‘happy’ pill). 😉 I’m currently working on book three of my Other World series as – rumour has it – the second book is about to be accepted for publication. I’ve also been tinkering with Grey (also known as my white elephant story as I do get the feeling she will never be published). And, finally, I’ve been playing around with a bit of a futuristic urban fantasy YA story that, accidentally, has started out with a Mr Flibble undertone. (Red Dwarf fans may understand that.)

And, of course, I am being creative in other ways, embracing the day, moment, second and seeking the positive. I’m done with the “I will start doing that when I get XYZ done” and then never get to XYZ. Who needs XYZ anyhow? Just bloody do it!

Okay, enough waffling from me. It was nice to see you all again stopping by my blog and rolling your eyes at my antics. I’ve missed that. Let’s roll eyes at each other again soon, okay?

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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