From Up Over to Down Under

Thank You!

ausromtoday-winner-badge

Just in case anyone out there is listening, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Dark Echoes won!

Breaking the Silence

It’s sad to think of how many months have passed since my last post. Things haven’t changed all that much for me. I still have too much on for my own good. Today I am making the time to break the silence here by asking for your help.

I’m an indie author, meaning I don’t often have the chance to be considered for any awards. So you can imagine my excitement when my third novel, Dark Echoes was nominated for AusRomToday’s Cover of the Year award.

The first step was to get in the final ten nominations. The second and last step? To win by popular vote on Facebook. Voting on Facebook means ‘likes’.

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All you need to do is click here (or click on the image) to go to the Facebook album of nominees where you’ll find Dark Echoes. From there, click on Dark Echoes and give a like to vote. If you’re willing to go a bit further, you can click on the image and share it from there on your Facebook feed. Then people only need to click on the image and like to give a vote.

I’m currently 24 likes behind the lead, and there’s only two and a half days to go.

I’m not good at this stuff – asking for likes, asking people to share things, and so on. But, I am putting my nerves aside because winning this isn’t only about me. This will also help a local small business run by a fantastic guy I went to school with. He helped create the cover.

Please consider voting with your ‘like’ and sharing it on Facebook to encourage others to do the same.

Thank you.

Settling Up

I think it’s about time I admit that I haven’t written here in ages, and I am not likely to take it up anytime soon.

There was a point in my life when I was – quite happily – posting on six different blogs at least five times each per week. I feel a long way away from that person now. How things change.

I have come to see that I am spread to thin. In worrying about how I should be posting on all my spaces, I end up posting on none. I’m not sure saying no to this place for now will make any real difference, but it is something I need to try.

What is goodbye for now here isn’t goodbye permanently. I do hope to come back here. I am also hoping that this will help me keep more reasonable posting frequencies at my author website and my zine blog.

We shall see.

How Laci Green Just Became My (1st Ever) Hero

Laci Green’s ‘Why I’m a Feminist’

Dark Echoes

This has been keeping me busy for months. Now it’s finally finished!

You can now buy Dark Echoes on Amazon.com!

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LONE WOLF

Lily Peterson is a wolf who hunts alone. Haunted by the attack that left her best friend permanently human, she will do whatever it takes to catch her prey.

FATE

Jason North is one of the Neuri, a pack of werewolves with special abilities. He knows he’s never met Lily before, but his instincts tell him he has. He’ll keep her close until he figures out why.

EVERYBODY LIES

A war that has played out across lifetimes threatens to consume Echo Falls. Friends become enemies, and old enemies become allies. Lily fights against memories that aren’t hers, forced toward a fate she doesn’t believe in.

Fate is about to learn that Lily doesn’t like being told what to do.

Journals!

I really think I am starting to get the hang of things now. I made these two for my classes.

Advanced Editing

Myths and Symbols

Handmade A5 Travel Journal

Okay! So it’s about time I did this post, but I have been outright swamped. But now I am finally a citizen, enrolled in classes, have the proper referrals in place for my medical issues, and have finished the first draft of the novel. Phew! No wonder I was exhausted.

A lot of people helped make this craft even though they didn’t know exactly what I was making. So here it is: a handmade travel journal for a friend to use during her journey in Cambodia.

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Ta da! I’m a bit of perfectionist and am not easily satisfied with my work, but I’m actually pretty proud of this one.

First things first. I used paper mostly from Kaisercraft’s Timeless line. I love it so much. I’ve gone back to get more of the same papers to make journals for me. (Pictures of those later.)

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This is the inside/first page. The card is stuck in there (later on that). I printed all the pages on regular A4 printer paper, then tea-dyed and crumpled them. I love the effect it had on the paper, but I don’t think I’ll ever put myself through that much work again. :P

There is a very light greyscale map of Cambodia that takes up the whole page. I bought the stamp from Riot Arts and Crafts, and I used ‘Scattered Straw’ Distress Ink.

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I wanted her to have a journal that would capture the entire trip, including before they left and after they came back. Because of that, I started with a to-do list…

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In reality, their flights and hotels didn’t take up a lot of room. This way, she can stick in the boarding passes and/or anything she has from the hotels.

 

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In trying to figure out exactly what to put in the travel journal, I decided she needed a page where she could put any emergency info. She could have quick access to who was house/dog sitting, what the emergency numbers are, a note about the time difference, whatever.

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Now to the actual journey. I folded up a piece of 12×12 to create a pocket folder. (I sort of gave it a go, so I don’t have a YouTube video to share on how to do it.) It also makes a nice and easy separator for the pre-journey and journey stuff. I also punched holes in a bookmark (a wonderful gift from a friend!) and cut the side of the punches. Now she can take it in and out as she pleases to keep track of what day she’s on. A bit of ribbon and twine through the punched hole made it into a true bookmark.

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Given it’s a travel journal, I wanted to be extra sure that the folders I made were very secure. I found sticky Velcro dots at OfficeWorks, and they worked perfectly.

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Knowing exactly how long she would be away made customising this book a lot easier. To start each day, she has one of these…

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Following that, she has this spread… It’s something I wanted to be sure to include because having it there makes you look at things a lot closer.

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Then, of course, plenty of journal space each day!

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A second folder separates the journey from the ‘back home’ section.

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(And back…)

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As you can see above, the home again section starts with the same ‘where are we/what are we doing’ page. However, it’s followed by…

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For the above, I wanted her to have plenty of space for the little things you might not think about otherwise. Falling asleep at the airport, a picture of all the luggage, sky on the way home… Plenty of space for pictures.

I also wanted her to have plenty of more journal space not only for memories but for reflections on her very first trip away with her beau.

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The last page…

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Last, but not least, the back cover.

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But wait! There’s more…

About that little thing to the right of the book in the first picture. That is actually a no-cut, no-tape photo wallet I learned how to make with this video.

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I knew my friend would be out and about a lot, so I wanted her to be able to write down memories without being required to take her journal with her everywhere. So I made the little photo pocket and put some Project Life cards in it.

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These are beautiful 3×4″ journal cards from the Maggie Holmes Edition Project Life core kit. I loved these cards when I first saw them and ended up asking around if any friends would mind donating a few more. (The core kit comes with 10, but I wanted at least a dozen.) I punched each of the cards and then cut into the holes. That way she can write while she’s out and about and pop them into the journal when she gets back to the hotel.

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Phew! This one really was a labour of love, that’s for sure. It was a lot of hard work, but it really ignited a love of making notebooks in me. I’ll take pictures and share my other journals soon!

For now, thank you for reading if you’ve made it this far. :)

Finally! I’m A True Blue Sheila

Citizenship

Well, this happened! It all went as a bit of a rush, to be honest. I am unbelievably happy to finally be able to say I am Australian! I’ve been one in heart, soul and drinking habits for a long time. But now I am according to the Australian government, too.

Sweet Cool Relief!

Phew! Well, I certainly didn’t intend for there to be such a long gap between posts, but we’ve been dealing with a heatwave here in Australia. We’ve had quite a few days over 40C (104F) – most heading up to 43/44C ((109.4/111.2F). We are lucky in that we have a small air conditioner in the bedroom that stood up pretty well considering the circumstances.

But the bedroom is not my office, and my office is where my computer is.

My office turned into quite the little hotbox *cough*oven*cough* and I couldn’t really use it during the heatwave. I ended up taking some of my craft stuff into my bedroom and working on it there.

Bedroom PL

Alas, sweet relief arrived about midnight Friday/Saturday…

Heatwave

As you can imagine, 26C (78.8F) was sweet, sweet relief from such hot temperatures. Things were toasty again Saturday during the day but not as bad. Today, there have been plenty of cool breezes. Last night I actually slept under the blankets for the first time in a week!

Please bear with me as I catch up with everything. I do plan on putting a post up to demonstrate how to get two 3x4s onto a 4×6 (a common difficulty for Project Lifers) using PhotoShop as well as an update on my crafting stuff. I really want to get into everything I’m doing (and want to do) craft-wise here. I know it’s not exciting for most people – and no one probably reads this blog anyway – but I do have a passion for creating.

*If you’re interested in what I used to take this picture, it’s an Android app called InstaWeather. It reads your GPS, puts the weather reading on your screen, and you can take a picture of whatever you like. It posts to most social media sites and Instagram. It’s been a very handy little app to have for documenting the heatwave. I’m excited to see what the printed 4×4 pictures from Printstagram turn out like.

More on the Dangers of Sugar

I am a total documentary addict. When I watched the short video on sugar that I posted the day before yesterday and saw some documentaries/special news reports pop into the sidebar, I just had to check them out.

I’m a sugar addict. And I don’t type that with any cute or cheeky tone in mind. I am a sugar addict through and through, and I treat trying to break my addiction like I would approach breaking an addiction to any drug. For me, part of that is learning as much as possible about the drug, and going from there. So here are some videos I found on the topic.

I hope you find them as interesting as I did.

The Secrets of Sugar – CBC News

We’ve heard about the dangers of eating too much fat or salt. But there has never been a warning about sugar on our food labels – despite emerging research that suggests the sweet stuff is making more of us fat and sick.

Addicted to Pleasure – Sugar – BBC Documentary

In this first episode, Brian wants to find out why (like millions of other Brits), he is a diabetic. Starting in Barbados, from which sugar cane fuelled a consumer revolution, Brian discovers how the British acquired a ‘sweet tooth’ and why today, this has led to epidemic levels of diabetes, obesity and even addiction to sugar.

Toxic Sugar? – ABCTV Catalyst

In only a few decades, there are now more obese people on the planet than there are undernourished. When it comes to getting fat, we’ve come to believe it’s as simple as ‘calories in’ versus ‘calories out’ – if you want to shed the kilos, you need to burn more calories than you consume. But not all calories are the same. Some people absorb calories more efficiently and it matters what types of foods your calories are coming from. Sugar is now being proposed by experts as the new dietary villain that’s making us fat and sick. Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates the bitter truth about the dangers of a sweet diet.

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