Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Harmonising nasal falsetto in Gigiland

Explanation needed I hear you say.

Scene: Julie and Gigi, playing in gigiland, ( our play area set out for our little miss), Danny making a sizzling sausage and egg breakfast, ABC1 on the TV and a certain little owl who sings in a nasal falsetto comes on.  Danny and I burst into two part nasal falsetto harmony, singing along to the song, Gigi is agog with delight at her ridiculous parents.

I am starting to calculate the number of years we will be singing along to children's television, oh dear........, I am going to need a distraction, I can't start wishing for a teenager just yet.  My sister has been telling me over and over that you can't just write two books, you have to have a trilogy, so I am starting to consider ideas for my characters as they reach the young adult stage. 

I am going to have many hours of enduring children's television ahead of me, this might just be the distraction I need, oops, better finish book 1 and 2 first....

Two and a 3/4 weeks and counting........

Monday, 23 April 2012

The journey of Self

Self settling....hooom, I was starting to wonder if this is an urban myth.  It's an odd term really and one I hadn't encountered until I had a child that completely, and utterly refused to do so, lol

9 months in and last night was the first time she has ever "self settled".  Cheers and hooray, but it takes a fair bit of crying for that to happen.  Every book assures me this is normal and it is the only way that a baby will learn how to sleep but it is heavy going.

In my 3 am haze of allowing her to "self settle" I began pondering the journey of Self that my little miss G will have ahead of her. 

Self awareness, self assurance, self defence, self regulate, self denial, self explanatory, self proclaim, these are all terms that my little girl will have to learn on the path to developing and maturing her sense of self.

It is part of why I wanted to write a book, even before she was born.  I wanted to write a character that faces adversity but learns to overcome her disability to unlock her amazing potential.  The path along the way is rugged and not cookie cut, so she also must also learn perseverance and ultimately forgiveness to continue on her path.  

My books in essence will be a journey of Self, and I hope one day my little miss G will enjoy them and learn valuable lessons along the way towards her own journey of Self.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

To sell or not to sell that is the question

Danny and I have a long running difference of opinion about what you do with books once they are read.

Danny thinks that once you buy a book you never ever get rid of it because you might want to read it again one day.   I agree in most cases except when it comes to forensic pathology suspense, by two very well known authors, one has a major hit TV show of which the books are loosely based.

My argument is that once you have read that kind of book and you know how it ends, you just never ever ever read them again.  So after many circular conversations and little husband/wife rivalry, haha, ( Danny says they will never sell haha)  I decide to pile the books up and take a photo of them and put them on gumtree ( website that you can advertise goods for sale on).

I upload my photo and put about 5 bucks a book on them and voila, in about 2 hours I had a buyer for the lot.  I told Danny and he was suitably impressed.

....hooom, a little too good to be true......So I email the details for the payment and oops the buyer was in another country and needed an agent to pick the books up and oh, she has made a double payment to 'my account' to cover the delivery cost for the agent, so I will just have to transfer half the money to her 'agent' first before the money can be released to my account..........

Sigh, ohh well, lucky I didn't come down with the last shower,.... delete add from gum tree and raise white flag in the

Anyway, several weeks later, we are trying to figure out a way to prop the head of our bed up.  I have reflux and need the bed elevated.  We have two wooden blocks, but our bed is a king size and Danny thinks it will need some more support in the middle.

"What about your ---- ------ ( I better not use the authors name haha) books, they might work," Danny suggests.  So we prop them in all the right places and voila, perfect.

I guess when an author spends countless hours mulling over the infinite details of their work and a publisher goes through the arduous process of creating a book, marketing it and selling it, do they ever think it will end up propping up the head of a bead.

I guess its a good thing I am going to publish and E-book, lol

Two and a half weeks and counting........

Friday, 20 April 2012

A bad egg

Well after our morning ritual of miss G spreading cream cheese on toast all over her face hands and high chair, I decided it was time for some breakfast. 

Scrambled eggs today, I decided, and I cracked the first egg into the bowl, gahhhh.  A bad egg. Wash bowl and take out a new egg and this time a cup to crack it into ( my mother would be very proud) and gahhh another bad egg.

Shame spiral, consolation needed, ooohhh home made gluten free crumpets from my sister in law, ooh yeah, 2 minutes in the micky, butter and syrup, ooooooh, thats the business.

Gigi is laughing whilst jumping in front of the tv holding onto her play gym ( working off her cankles, hehe) and it occurred to me.   I may have a little obsession.

All will be revealed when my little booky is published, so spoiler alert, but I may have dreamt up an entire race of elves, addicted to pancakes and a delicious syrupy sauce and its any wonder why, they are one of my all time favouritest foods, not including cheese burgers and cheesecake.  ha ha

So stay tuned for my book and be sure to read it with a snack nearby.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Be still my creaking bones

That's what my sister says about putting her little girl to bed, her bones only have to creak and she wakes up and little miss G is just like her cousin.

I was starting to believe that they should make an addition to the saying " there is nothing certain in life bar death and taxes", tack "controlled crying" on the end and you will have summed it up.

So we have finally "bitten the bullet", pardon another pun and given controlled crying a go, for everyone's sanity, we all need sleep and from all the books I have read, it is inevitable if you want to teach a child to sleep.  They do however mention that some babies aren't ready till much later and that is little miss G, but I digress, the whole point of today's blog.


Refer to previous post about if I ever have any real sleep I would be dangerous, haha, so who knows what today will bring.

And what was the key to our success last night you ask.  Whilst doing the timed returning to soothe, I worked on book 2, ( I am up to chapter 7) and it was just the distraction I needed from the angst of the controlled crying regime.

Little miss woke at 630 and we began our morning ritual of potty and her favourite show streamed over my Iphone and I had a vision:  One day printing my books and presenting them to her only to hear " what are those" lol.

By that time, the E-book will probably have made the paper versions look like a dinosaur, so its lucky I am going to go with the E-pub format.

Two weeks and counting........ 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Spell checking is the new air brushing


If I can't spell a word, sometimesI am too lazy to search on the thesaurus, or spell check it. I would rather just think of another word, lol.

In my defence, I wasn't always this bad at spelling, I was pretty good till high school.  Well, with the exception ( i hope that's the correct spelling as I can't be bothered checking haha) of the word WHO.  That has baffled me forever.  I learned shorthand which does everything phonetically ( don't even start on that one, it's phonetic so I can spell it however it sounds if i like haha), so my spelling deteriorated after that.

I have a friend who used to return letters with red corrections, it was never to me, I was never game to write him a letter, so it may have been an urban myth that he self perpetuated so that he wouldn't have to suffer the poor sentence structure and grammatical errors.

I also had a medical consultant that I worked with as a nurse that loathed grammatical errors.  I found myself reducing all communications to part cave man,  "Need doctor stat."

Anyway, I have decided it's time to reform and start using my little friend spell check when I am writing.

After all spell checking is the new airbrushing, ooh and I just used it on this little excerpt and it picked up quite a few errors, lol.


Friday, 13 April 2012

Warning: remove child from potty then blog

Have you ever heard the phrase, if she had a brain she would be dangerous, well my version should be,

Miss G actually slept most of the night which is cause for much cheering and possible entry to well known record book haha.  The follow on from that is that I consequently had some real sleep which seems to inflate my perception of what I am capable of.

So,  6 am, after miss G wakes with the usual gleaming smile on her face, I put her on the potty and proceeded to daydream about story ideas. 

The next thing I knew, Miss G had launched herself towards me, after doing a wee that she must have stored up since the beginning of time, and splish splash, I am suddenly awoken from my daydream to the harsh and wet reality of raising a 9 month old.

After much gafawing, I took this photo of Miss G, smiling and clapping away in her cot with her favourite Fraggle as I attempted to remove the evidence.

The moral of the story is, remove child from potty then blog, haha

A little less daydreaming today I think..........

Thursday, 12 April 2012

10 is the new 20

I had lunch with one of my all time inspirational and favourite peeps today.

The menus was home made chorizo and chicken and walnut pizza with rocket, and banana and caramel pizza for desert. I mention this because one of those ingredients is actually my main characters name.  ( spoiler alert haha, you will just have to read my book to find out which one.)

Anyway, the point of the story is, I met a little girl that she was baby sitting for the day, aged 10.  Upon discussion about my little booky, she informed me quite eloquently how she had read all the wizard books, the vampire books and the latest book/movie which inspired my last post/rant.

The question is at aged 10, would I have had the reading ability and understanding for the above mentioned books or have I pitched my book at the wrong age.

To answer my own question, because there is no one else to haha, I don't think so.  In my opinion this child was at a very advanced reading level for 10, but in watching her play with my little girl, she was still a child. 

I hope she would like my story because the characters are endearing and the story is exciting but it brought me to my next quandry. Would a 10 year old own a kindle or read a book on a computer. 

In watching miss 10, she spent most of her time playing with Miss G or playing on a lap top so my answer to that one is, I hope so, haha.

Anyway, not that I am counting but 1 week down, 4 weeks till I get my manuscript back from editing, so in closing to quote another all time favourite author, "Don't Panic." 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

An acceptable level of violence

Well Miss G was in her element last night, awake for nearly 3 hours, giving me ample time to mull things over, but I fear this will be a sleep deprivation induced rant.

One of the things that has been plaguing me about book 1, currently being edited so fortunately very fixable is the amount of violence that I have included.  Don't get me wrong, it is pretty tame compared to a very recent best selling novel that has become a movie that all the "kids" are currently watching.

It was pointed out to me by the little girl that read it that there was a bit of violence, so she didnt think the 9 year olds would be ok with it.  ( she was 10, gotta love the vast difference in a 10 year olds mind, haha)

Anyway, it made me rethink just how I portray the darker elements of my story without making them too wishy washy or the impact is lost. 

So what is an acceptable level of violence.  Clearly from the beginning of time we have been killing each other and in the movie I mention above without really mentioning it, the violence was all driven by hunger, but is that really the acceptable level that I want my now 9 month old daughter to read in the future.

The answer is no.  As a registered nurse I have seen violence perpetrated by adults on children and children on children and there is nothing exciting, endearing or heroic about it, so what is it that draws the audience so completely.

It is because we have been desensitised.  It has become an acceptable level of violence, but I have decided not in my story.  I want to weave a tale that shows my characters being forgiving and not retaliating violence with violence.

Its time to let the kids be kids for as long as they can before the inevitable violence of this world encroaches on  them. 

In the above movie one of the theme's was if everyone stops watching they will no longer have a game.  ( here comes the rant).  So if we start declaring to supposed publishers of children's books that there is an unacceptable level of violence in this book, then they will start reviewing their editing practices to children.

I want my story to reflect my morals and belief system, but guess what, it's not what the publishers want, surprise surprise, but welcome to the world of indie self publishing, I can write my story my way.

So here's to another 3 am inspiration session, I promise the next one will be less angsty.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A few stolen hours

Well, when you have a 9 month old baby who has never really gotten the idea of consecutive hours sleep, you tend to rejoice when you have a few stolen hours to yourself. 

I have to wonder, how many of the great works by mum's all over the world have been written from a 4 am inspiration session, when the baby has gone back to sleep but you are left with a mind that is racing for the new day.

It makes sense really.  You are awake, and there is quiet and the creative juices flow so instead of mourning the loss of the sleep,  why not use the time to your best advantage. 

To add to the momentum, Miss G had a two hour sleep after morning tea, so I found myself with 120 whole minutes of which to put my inspiration into words.

I truth, I love writing dialogue, its just so fun to be inside the head of each character because you created them.  What I have found in my first few drafts, I tend to write out what I want the character to impart, but don't necessarily put that in dialogue. I have been told so many times, show don't tell but that isnt always so easy to do. 

So two whole hours of bouncing dialogue between my characters has given me renewed vigor for the direction of my story but also some new concepts I would like to put it.

I can't tell you how precious these moments are with a little bub. ( I am writing this in between spoonfuls of banana yoghurt which is generally being flung across the room.)  I am starting to feel my brain is beginning to thaw out from the 9 months of mayhem but I am not complaining.

Here's to another 4 am inspiration session of which I am sure Miss G will keep her end of the bargain.

Catch you in the next installment.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

The adventure begins

How it all began,

Well, to say I am a sci fi nerd is probably a little bit of an understatement.  My husband and I actually have a life size cardboard cut out of a Tardis and the David Tennant Doctor Who in our lounge room.  So yes we are just a little bit sci fi mad, but don't get me wrong, I am not going to don a skin tight suit and make V symbols with my hand, but I do love a good sci fi story.

Its hardly surprising, growing up my family loved sci fi too.  My Dad read a wide range of stuff but sci fi always dominated and I remember sitting down to the all familiar da da da, da da da, intro of Doctor Who as a kid.  My sisters love it too and yes, girls can love sci fi too, its not just for the boy's. 

I don't know when I decided I wanted to write kids books one day but that one day finally came about 2 years ago.  I was a little antsy with the world I guess, a bit tired of the same old same old, and my husband Danny suggested, why don't you write your kids book.  Well because I don't know how to was my reply.  Well why don't you find out, was probably his reply, I can't really remember, so I of course typed it in to my little friend google, a fountain of all knowledge and I came upon a few books that could help me.

So I bought writing Children's books for Dummies, which was really quite good. I read stuff about Stephanie Myer writing her Twilight series after having a dream and by chance someone took a chance on her.  I started to think, if she can do it, why can't I.  Don't get me wrong, I am not going to compare myself to anyone, but she started somewhere, maybe I could too.

So, what kind of story would I like to write.  In high school, one of my many nicknames was Pixie because of my pointy ears and Elf like features. I decided, why not write an Elf story and whilst sitting on toilet of all places, I came up with a name for my main character and the world she would live in.  I started having ideas at all hours of the night and I learnt to put a notepad beside my bed, becaue I would often wake up with another idea fresh in my mind, only to have it vanish a few moments later.

Then chatting to Danny one night, he came up with the name of the planet where my evil character would originate.  The next thing I knew, Danny had bought me a little red lap top which I affectionately called Ruby, ( we like to name things, my car is called Monty) and my little advenure had begun.

Quite a few months later, I gave my first draft to my family and my they gave me some great comments on what they liked and some other suggestions, as well as some pointers on my incredibly bad spelling, grammar and general sentence structure. Its always best coming from family, haha, but it helped alot and my next edit was a great deal better, well so my sisters said anyway. 

I kept developing my story and after about 6 months I decided I wanted to get an opinion on it. I sent it to the UK writers workshop for a manuscript assessment.  It was six long weeks before I heard back from Val ( a well known children's book author who they assigned to read my manuscript)  reviewed it and gave me some very good but sobering feedback.  I guess I thought this was going to be a sinch. Ha Ha, doesnt everyone think that when they have what they think is a great idea.

So I went back to the beginning and I started to hone my writing and my characters, and about another 6 months later, I sent it back to Val for another assessment.  This time it was a great deal more encouraging, but I still had a alot of errors in the grammar, which I found incredibly confusing as so many books have differing styles of grammar.   I kept editing and eventually I started to understand the format that is required, but it still wasnt at the point where it would be fit for a submission to a publisher, but I kept on it.

By this time I was expecting the divine miss Giselle, so in my maternity leave before I had the baby, I decided I was gonna finish my story.  I happened to mention this to my obstetrician, who just happened to have a sister who worked in children's book publishing, so I asked her who she was. To my surprise, I actually knew who her sister was as I had seen her name as the editor in cheif on the publisher's website, and I got an idea.  I decided to email her, what is there to lose, a no thanks we don't read anything from rank amateurs, haha.

So this is what I wrote:

Hi ____ I am an obstetrics patient of your sisters.  You can imagine my surprise when leaving her office a few weeks ago, I remarked that I have finished work now so I can continue writing my children's book, that she actually returned with some small talk mentioning you were in publishing. 

My husband and I often joke that your sister is certainly not one for small talk , so I decided to seize my opportunity and ask her where you worked.  

So here is my pitch, does the world need another vampire, wizard or fairly princess story, I don't think so, but it could use a science fiction Elf story geared towards girls aged 9-12.

So in the words of the unfortunately famous for white full body leather jumpsuits, take a chance on me, or at least get one of your minions to. Manuscript, synopsis and bio attached.

To my utter surprise, she answered me, apparently I had written a great unsolicited email, and she was happy to pass my story onto one of her editors. 

Here is an excerpt from her editor’s reply:

There’s a lot to like about your story – it’s engaging from the word go and the world you’ve created is unique and intriguing. I really like the characters and settings, and the combination of high fantasy elements and modern/futuristic technology.

She gave me the usual thanks but no thanks spiel, but she took the time to give me some great pointers on how I could hone my writing skills even further and improve the readability of my story.

Wowsers.!!!  Let’s face it I didn’t really expect them to roll out the red carpet and offer me a publishing deal, but in essence, a really well known children’s book publisher, read my story, and didn’t HATE it.  That in itself is wildly encouraging.  I can’t give up now.

So I did several more edits, one reading out my entire book aloud, (a great tip I was given from Val about editing) then I decided it was time to give it to someone in my actual audience.  My sister passed  it on to a 10 year old girl in her church.  I was pretty worried, I mean, it doesn’t matter what the adults think, it’s the kids that read it.

Guess what?  She loved it.  She really liked the characters and the moral theme that I have running through it. I forgot to mention, although I am a Christian, I didn’t strictly write a Christian book, I wrote a book with great morals in a science fiction genre for children, but the essence is there and it will hopefully pass on the values that I hold to my readers.

Anyway, she wanted to read the next book, which I am subsequently writing at the moment, but I am getting ahead of myself, a kid liked it.  Awesome, admittedly its only one child, but I have had a few friends who have read it also since, including my aunty who doesn’t really read science fiction but in her words,  I kept her attention right to the end.  It did make her quite hungry however, as you will find out when you read my story that I do mention quite a lot of delicious treats that my Elves enjoy, mostly because I enjoy them too.

So, where too from here?  I decided self publishing is the new black, ha ha and after a great deal of looking around, I found a company called Palmer Higgs, that has a package deal that I really liked the sound of, so voila, the manuscript is currently in the editing phase and then it will be converted to an e-pub file, which will be available on Amazon eventually.

I also have a friend who is an awesome animator, and I have given him the task of drawing my story cover, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

It’s starting to get exciting now. Sooner rather than later, its gonna be ready to be published and I can say that everyone in my family will probably breathe a sigh of relief as I have been banging on about for close to 2 years now, haha.

Stay tuned for the next instalment and eventually I will grow up and write a kids book,  haha, or maybe even more than one.