Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

As the year closes and a new one beckons it is often a time for reflection. Of times past and the ones ahead. More thoughts of this on Wednesday with IWSG but for now I wanted to wish each and every one of you a happy and peaceful new year. May it bring all you are hoping for, for yourselves and your loved ones.

In 9 months of blogging it has been a privilege to get to know so many of you. Thank you for making me welcome in this blogging community. I look forward to continued friendships, old and new in 2013.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Build Me a Blog-Hop!

Welcome to Build Me A Blog - Hop!
David Powers King is hosting this fab blog hop to celebrate reaching 800 followers. There are some awesome prizes up for grabs! Thanks David.
Here's the details folks - in David's own words
- On December 20th, by 8 AM MST, include in your post a 200 word description of your dream blog/site/banner/avatar/etc. What would it look like? I'll read all the entries and select three winners who wowed me so much that I want to see their description come to life!

Winners will be announced December 21st, and the prizes are:

3rd place: a banner/icon/avatar designed by Tara Tyler.
2nd place: a banner/icon/avatar designed by Darren Hansen.
1st place: a blog background designed by Lisa Campbell ($50 value).
The best Runner Up will receive a rare box of Hostess cupcakes!


Re-vamping my blog has been on my mind of late. Trouble is I have little idea how to go about it and I don't have the time to spend hours on it. So this hop has given me the ideal chance to think through my ideas and get a clearer picture of what I would like people to see when they click on my site!

I would like my blog to reflect my stories and my personality.  I write predominately for children and YA and my genre of choice is fantasy. Although I don't want it to look too child like or cartoony. I LOVE unicorns so they would feature in my perfect blog.  My talented daughter has recently started to design a unicorn logo for my header so it would be great to incorporate that too. As for backgrounds anyone who knows me already would guess it would feature purple. Possibly tones/shades of a sky over a lake. I quite like using my photo on my home page but an avatar would be fun to use at times. I'm not really a gadget person, I prefer simple and not too cluttered. However, I quite fancy a way to chart progress on my WIP.

I hope my random ramblings make some sort of sense. My brain is pretty full of other stuff at the moment!

Once again seasons greetings to you all. Catch you in the New Year.

Monday, 17 December 2012

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

What a busy week!

We've put up the Christmas decorations...

I went to a wreath making evening and produced this...

I went to the works Christmas Party. Sorry no photos of that one!

I've been to a Christmas Ball. Long dresses, lots of sparkle and dancing. A great night.

And this week? Well ...

There will be children's parties and Christmas lunches.

A trip to the movies to see Nativity 2 with all the family.

Visitors arriving.

Probably several trips to the supermarket!

Oh yes and another Christmas Party!

Apart from a scheduled post on Thursday for  David Powers King's Build Me a Blog - Hop, this will probably be my last opportunity to post till after the holidays so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope the New Year brings all you are hoping for.

Merry Christmas

Monday, 10 December 2012

Long Live the Ninja!

Today is the day when the blogging world goes mad for the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh

So, here’s four questions:
In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?
In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?
In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:


For Bonus Points:
In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing J

Join the Linky List
Be a follower.
Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.  
What does Alex look like?
Dark hair that partially conceals his equally dark eyes. Adding to his air of mystery!

Who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or Dead)
I think living would be best, they would give the part more substance! Hey, what about Alex playing Alex?

Who does Alex remind you of?
An all year round Father Christmas, delivering loads of lovely comments into our in boxes. Mostly, unseen, I've  never seen him do it have you? He's lightning quick too, maybe he has a team of ninja elves to help him.

Write a piece of flash fiction using these words: Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar.

The Day Alex Saved Christmas

The ipad screen misted, erasing the mega list of blogs from Alex's Google Reader.  It was Christmas Eve, how was he going to comment on all these blogs before nightfall?!
     "Mr. CavanaughNinja Captain and Leader of the infamous IWSG?" Alex jumped as a voice boomed from the tablet. "We need your help."
     "What do you want me to do?" Alex's gulped.
     "It's delicate."
     "Go on." The strained cords of a guitar  set Alex's teeth on edge.
     "It's Cosbolt. He's scaring the reindeer. Please help or Christmas will be ruined!"
     "Put him on," Alex liked all things science fiction but this was mind blowing.
      The elf grinned sheepishly.
     "You wanna learn the guitar?" Alex asked.
     "Can you help me? Santa's stressed and Rudolph's refused to work because he has a headache?"
     Alex grabbed his guitar. Looks like blogging will have to wait Alex thought. After all, saving Christmas is way more important!

For bonus points leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh, thanking her for sharing.
Thanks so much for allowing Alex to come play in the blogosphere with us wacky writers.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Will my bus ever come?

I have been following the Insecure Writers Support Group posts for months and I finally got around to joining.  Big thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this wonderful idea. Posts are the first Wednesday of the month and are a great way to offer support and encouragement to fellow writers or to receive a little yourself!

I sometimes think I've been waiting at the bus stop too long!

On the outside it usually appears as a patient, the bus is only just around the corner, I can wait abit longer, attitude. Yet  inside I'm tense and knotted, drumming my feet on the pavement, anxious to be on the bus and on my way.

I've been known to leap to my feet, so sure my bus was finally here. A competition win,  requests for full manuscripts, a telephone call with a brilliant agent, even an offer of representation! (Squeels). But sadly I still haven't quite made it onto the bus, the publishing deal still eludes me.

I know I have travelled a long way already, but I'm nowhere near ready for the journey to end. I've got my ticket stamped, I guess I just have to wait at the bus stop awhile longer. It's just sometimes it gets a little cold and lonely all this hanging about. What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? Tweek and fiddle some more with projects I've already put my heart and soul into or start something brand new and seek a new distraction to keep me company while I wait?

How do you cope with the inevitable waiting that being a writer entails?

Monday, 3 December 2012

December Birthstones

Happy December everyone and welcome to the countdown to the festivities!
As most of you probably know if you have been following for a while I have written a children’s series set around birthstones and their symbolism. Each month I like to tell you a bit about the particular birthstone I feature in my story and post a short extract. Eleven of the twelve stories feature the listed ‘traditional’ birthstone for that month but December is the month I veer off slightly! Well it is Christmas I’m allowed to be a little different aren’t I? For December I focus on one of the ‘modern’ gems, the Tanzanite.

Why did I do this? Well a couple of reasons really. Firstly, I Love, Love, Love the Tanzanite and its bluey/purpley colour. It is so pretty and so me! (Sadly it isn’t my birthstone). Secondly, I thought Tanzanite made an excellent name for a Birthstone Unicorn. In the story I sometimes shorten it to Tanzy and it fits the story perfectly. Check out this link to meet her or click the tab above
As its name might suggest, Tanzanite was first found in Tanzania in 1967. It is relatively new to the official birthstone list having only found its way on in 2002 where it joined the traditional gem Turquoise and other more modern additions, the Blue Zircon and Blue Topaz. But I personally feel it is a wonderful addition and its colour unique.

As Tanzanite is such a new addition there are few myths or legends surrounding it so I have used some of the associations with the traditional turquoise to weave into the story. More details in the side bar on these.

Finally, here is the verse from the traditional Gregorian Birthstone Poem, enjoy!

If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a turquoise blue
Success will bless whate'er you do.

 Do you have a favourite gemstone? Is it your birthstone, traditional or modern?




Sunday, 2 December 2012

Blindsided Blog Tour

Hi everyone. Here is my entry for the Blindsided Blog Tour run by the ever lovely, Kyra Lennon.

For this fun blogfest we were asked to post a photo of ourselves dressed in something Christmassy.

So here goes, don't laugh!

And just because they are far too cute a couple of pics of my cats in festive style!


Good luck with the book tour, Kyra x