Archives For Learning experiences

July Update

DebE —  July 21, 2014 — 6 Comments

Hey, hey…

So, I have been thinking about the way life works and how it’s really tricky trying to fit regular blogging into life, but also how regular blogging can be a good thing. And so I have come up with a plan… a monthly recap blog post, interspersed with the occasional “I gotta share this” blog post…

Also, down the track I’m looking to redesign my website so it has a better landing page and the blog is more of a side project — and I’d probably separate out the different topics I like to touch on.

Writing Progress

Early July saw a few more Beta reader comments come in for WARRIOR’S TOUCH which I worked to address. I also still had a few of my own niggles about the ending, but I thought to wait until I received feedback from
Continue Reading…

Now, when I say brief, I mean that I am just going to write, and it may turn out not to be brief at all…

So, now you know.

A sexy manga manThe story of how HEALER’S TOUCH came about really starts back in the late 1990s, when I was attending high school. I enjoyed a wide range of books, comic books, and cartoons that I watched on Saturday mornings and after school. In this sojourn back in time, the cartoon Gargoyles particularly comes to mind. I had also taken up collecting Robin III comics (from Batman fame, of course).

I was always well known for my horse drawings, but I had an interest in challenging myself to do better art, including drawing people. And so, I had a go at developing my own super hero. His name was Equus (of course… and I bet no one has ever come up with that idea before… Continue Reading…

And so it begins… again

DebE —  June 13, 2014 — 6 Comments

The blank page.

That dreaded blank page. It’s horrible!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I think, largely, it is because writers are gluttons for punishment. We’re never happy, and if we should be then we will find something to keep us down. And what better way than to start a new project?

Read a 1-star review of our work, you suggest? Yes, that is a good plan, too… Unless you get the kind of 1-stars you’re proud of (and I have been, lately… I’ve really liked them).

I am lucky this time around in that I’ve written two previous books in the same series I’m continuing on, so I have a decent string of events I already know I need to cover to tie off the loose ends. But Continue Reading…

I needed that…

DebE —  March 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

As much as I hate myself for checking, I do… I too often have a nosey over at Amazon.com to see if anyone is buying or reviewing my book. I know. It’s one of those things authors know they shouldn’t, but do anyway.

Writing is a funny business. If you get that chance to rest, zone out, chill, the dialogue, settings and character actions, along with the words to put it to the page can just flow… and flow smoothly.

This happens rarely when you’re a mother, as I’m sure many who follow can attest.

Somehow, I managed it last Sunday.

A got a peep this weekend.

The problem is, getting from that zoned-out space to your computer (or wherever you’re recording that tale) without breaking the zen…

Yeah… I haven’t found the magic bubble for that, yet.

So, it’s a struggle to get words down. Even more so when you know, you just know, you had better words to describe it while you were still snuggled in your bed while your child watched morning cartoons.

They were there.

Now they’re gone.

But you push forward anyway… even though Continue Reading…

Welcome New & Faithful Few

DebE —  March 1, 2014 — 29 Comments

Well, hello there.

So, about ten days ago, my publisher advised me there had been some 37,000 free downloads of HEALER’S TOUCH. Now, this is where I have to remind myself that these are downloads that would not have happened had it not been free… because, well, I still have a student loan sitting there… looking at me… and I’m looking at it… yeah. Maybe next time.

Anyway, that was a highly successful promotion we had there… and we didn’t expect it. I guess it just goes to show what a decent cover, blurb and the few kind reviews I already had can do…

Over the course of the month, I’ve gone from having just 22 reviews on Amazon US to over 90. That’s amazing. 22 in a year… another 70 in a month. Goodreads has seen a jump, and I even got my first review on Smashwords. B&N also got some action.

It has been an amazing time Continue Reading…

My bliss…

DebE —  February 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

When I write, and manage to get “into the zone”, I find my bliss. It’s cool. But it’s work. And when it’s work it can be hard to turn it into bliss as well.

But, I have another string to my bliss bow.

Because, not only am I a writer-mother (and part-time worker and wife and all that), I am a writer-gardener.

Yes. I admit it.

Gardening makes me happy.

And why wouldn’t it, with results like this?

Greenhouse

Greenhouse – Right hand side as at end of January 2014: strawberry plants at the top with a marigold to help keep insects down (not working). Tray attempting to germinate apple seeds at the top right. Below that is carrots in cut-down Coke and Pepsi bottles, with Rocket taking off in front (get it? taking off… ha!), and a tomato plant at the bottom left and more lettuce and another marigold…

Just wait… there’s more… Continue Reading…

The dreaded DNF…

DebE —  December 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

I know I’m not alone in this — whichever side of the fence I choose to stand on.

I strongly dislike not finishing books.

But books that I just can’t seem to get into… well, they stress me out. They take time away that I could put into books that’ll pull me into their world and teach me how I want to write. I strongly dislike reading books that don’t suck me in and books that I don’t feel I’m learning from.

I’ve said here on this blog that I will consider reviewing books for other writers, but I’m really not sure what I really mean by that. I love reading. I’m not one of those writers who stops reading while they’re in the middle of a writing project. Nothing aginst those who do, because they probably have way cooler lives than me. Me? My life is Continue Reading…

Looking forward to eating better….

DebE —  November 16, 2013 — 1 Comment

I thought I might share with you my new garden:My pot garden (o;

Now, let’s get one thing straight: I am not a gardener.

However, about this time of year (summer is coming on here in NZ), I do seem to get itchy green fingers. Don’t know why. I guess maybe it’s because I’m only a generation removed from regular gardeners. Perhaps it’s still in there, somewhere.

Actually, in the past, I have had quite an interest in growing Bonsai. I guess it’s my love of nature combined with my transient lifestyle as a university student. And, even now, I don’t feel a sense of permanence here. We bought this house as a do-up-and-move-on… some 10 years ago… maybe only 9, but it feels like so much longer.

Anyway, the point I wanted to touch on was that I’m sick of paying supermarket prices for lettuce, and I’m also sick of the rather tasteless “fresh” foods we have available now. I remember much yummier veges when I was younger — and I still had to be coerced into eating them. No wonder my son isn’t interested. So, I figured it was about time we started growing our own. It’s going to be a bit-by-bit process.

In April this year, we discovered a wild-sewn strawberry Continue Reading…

I don’t write these kinds of posts often… but, well… I just can’t not, this time…

I’m going to say some stuff that people won’t agree with. That’s fine. Say I’m wrong, I’ll listen, and I’ll consider. That’s as much as I can promise.

Amid all this rape culture media coverage (earlier in the year with the boys in the US and more recently with, shamefully, NZ’s own), I have realised that as I happened to include sexual assault in HEALER’S TOUCH it is a responsibility of my characters to deal with it in a realisitic, and hopefully healthy way.

Something I have been realising with fiction: it’s one thing to go out there and say, “Look, this is a bad guy doing bad things, we blew him up… that’s what happens when you do bad things… but, look, this good guy isn’t totally shiny, but he’s not that bad, so he’s cool”… But what about saying “Here… this is how it could be done… grow up like this guy/gal”? Just a thought I’ve been having.

It’s a tough one. Because to go out there and design a character, or three, that you think are the best role models for the world is to assume that you know best… which, well, who can?

I like to think that Jonas is a good Continue Reading…

Six years old… yesterday

DebE —  October 24, 2013 — 2 Comments
Someone's been rolling...

Someone’s been rolling…

I admit, I was in two minds about posting my latest pics of my baby, but, well… there he is in his natural state (o:

He hasn’t been all tarted up for photos. I went out to visit him in the weekend (just under an hour drive, now). I just took the chance to give him a brush down and look at his feet and re-acquaint myself with him. It’s been two months since he moved away. Where I had been keeping him (10mins drive away) wasn’t an option any more, and we still don’t own a property to keep him.

Was wonderful seeing him again. He’s such a lovely boy. Whenever I catch up with him I flap ropes and halters and whatever all around him, and he never reacts. He’s a really calm little man, and I’m so proud of him for that. (That being said, he’s got a little bit to learn when it comes to standing patiently while I work with him…)

So, yesterday (23rd Oct, NZ Time) he turned six. Well past time I started teaching him a few tricks. With a toddler to raise now, too, I haven’t done as much with Chino as I would have liked, but he’s now fully mature and ready to get on with things, so I’m pleased he now lives with people with experience in training minis for carting. So, this summer…. (o:  Good times ahead.

Some time when I go up and the weather is good – and set to be good for some time – we will give him a bath and see what his colours really look like. If you’ve seen my previous posts of him, you will have seen that, as a foal, he was strikingly bay/pinto… actually, more tri-coloured (he’s grey through the chest, bay at the rear). Even through his early years he kept these colours, and if I blanketed him over winter, he would be bold, too… Hard to know if he is roaning out or just dirty, now (o: So, bath time soon. There will be photos!

Really looking forward to having fun with my wee man (and my other one – the toddler – can come too).

Nothing much more to report. I shall keep you posted on progress, though! Continue Reading…