Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tuesday Tunes: Mark Ronson ~ Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars

Feel like a little bit of music today and could not go passed Mark Ronson~ Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars.

Get your funk on....

Youtube link

Have fun bopping along!


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Writing Buddy Wednesday with Lilliana Rose: Renovation Rumbling on Writing

I'm lucky to have a special guest today on the blog - in the first Writing Buddy Wednesday for 2016.

Lilliana Rose is a fellow SARA and DarkSider who is supportive of her fellow writers and has a stringent work ethic. You can find her in coffee shops around Adelaide with laptop or pen and paper in hand working on her latest pieces (evidence is presented on her Facebook timeline in the form of pictures). She also has great taste in bags (yes, I notice bags!) and is great company at conventions.

Lilliana experiments with her writing and writes from Steampunk mysteries to rural romances to poetry.

Lilliana is generously giving away a free copy of her latest release to one lucky commentator.

Now it's over to Lilliana!


Renovation Rumbling on Writing 
by Lilliana Rose

As part of my writing routine I have given myself a break for the month of January this year to allow my mind to rejuvenate and the stories to simmer quietly in my subconscious. To fill the space when I would normally write, I decided to begin a renovation project of a cabinet, which I’ve been meaning to do for, um, well a few years now.

Already this sounded a little like writing. I have manuscripts on my computer in need of some renovations. And it was these stories which filled my mind, growing and transforming, as I stripped back paint, about three layers, the top two were enamel, and sweat covered my body along with little flakes of paint in the summer heat. Mixed with the difficult discussion of having to pick out what colours to use – my art form is with words not colours!

I couldn’t help compare the process with writing. There are layers to peel away on a manuscript and sometimes it takes a while to get to a project. When I went to the hardware store for the fiftieth time, the guy looked at me weird for having stripping the paint off, for if I hadn’t done that then I could’ve just painted over the top and wouldn’t have to have put on an undercoat. Sometimes when editing the direction I go in might not be the same, but then again sometimes I’ve needed to strip the manuscript down to the bare wood in order to get the full inspiration of the new direction to take in it.

This is an approach I took with Change of Heart (The Clockwork Mysteries #1) last year where I re-looked at the story, stripped it back, and then started rewriting the second half. And while I ended up deleting thousands of words, the result was not only a better story, but also the flow of more ideas and I’ve since written Heart of Gold and Heart’s Desire. While stripping back paint, picking new colours, working out how to attach wall paper (not really believing the guy at the hardware store that I could simply use clag glue) my mind has secretly churned through and developed more stories, not just for The Clockwork Mysteries series, but also others (I’d better get writing!).

So the cabinet isn’t finished (like all creative projects it always takes longer than expected), and I’m now back at my day job, and back into writing with renewed inspiration. And I’m Glad I could see the benefits from recycling something old, like the cabinet, stripping away the years of misuse by other people, and making it my own. The process has also given me hope not to give up on some of my manuscripts that haven’t yet seen the light of day.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a Kindle copy of Heart of Gold. Only one copy to be given away.

Lilliana is a creative writer and poet. She enjoys pulling levers and turning cogs in steampunk worlds, and dreams of travelling in an airship.

Check out more of her work at these sites: website, blog, Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter.

Heart of Gold
by Lilliana Rose

Vickie's husband, George, insists she undertakes self defence lessons before starting her private eye business. George worries about her safety but doesn't want to stop her from developing her newly found skill of solving mysteries.

The training sessions are difficult and Vickie is exhausted. Now that her and George have rekindled their love, Vickie is determined to find the time to keep the sparks flying between them as much as possible.

When her trainer is injured, Vickie discovers he isn't entirely human, and has mechanical parts. But George doesn't believe her. Vickie insists something untoward happening and she must investigate. Can she solve another mystery while maintaining the renewed spice between her and George?

Available on Amazon Direct.


Thanks, Lilliana!

Readers don't forget to comment for your chance to win a copy of this latest instalment of The Clockwork Mysteries.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Super Sunday - 8 of my favourite things for January

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the latest Star Wars instalment. It was also such a joy watching a new generation getting enthralled by the saga.

The Force is strong with this one.

2. Family celebration

Flowers for engagement
Always grateful for my family but I was so ecstatic that my gorgeous god-sister had her engagement party to her lovely young man. Was so nice to laugh and I even danced for the occasion. Though I do need to work on my fitness. Once upon a time, I could Greek dance all night long but after one dance, I was puffed out! Oh and can I just mention
the deserts, my goodness!! I put on weight just by looking at them.

3. 52 week challenges

As I mentioned previously I'm participating in a reading challenge and an illustration challenge. Not do I take joy in participating, but I also in reading/viewing the updates.

I mean check out the 52 week Illustration challenge blog and you can see what I mean.

Sketched design on paper and retraced in Photoshop. Coloured in Photoshop.

4. Canva

I've done a few things with Canva for this blog and for my reading blog...

5. Monopoly Billionaire
It's a faster version of the original and I was introduced it this month by Masters 7 and 11. Fun and definitely brings out the competitive side. I actually one of the games. Huzzah!

6. Reading

Rachel Johns' 'The Patterson Girls' was an amazing read. Here's the review I put on Goodreads.

What can I say about this book - it was absolutely amazing!! If it wasn't for other commitments this month, I would have finished it much sooner. But in a way this delay only made me savour the read more.
Rachael Johns has written an easy to read book that grabs you from the first chapter following the story of four sisters scattered around the world. Together for their first Christmas without their mum, we witness their emotional journey as they all come to grips with their loss and finding out about The Patterson Curse. Each sister has a different voice but this doesn't jerk you out of the story. This story shows how even when you love your family you don't necessarily always get along with them. And that a loving family is there no matter what.

Having lost my father last year, this book was also therapeutic for me - the right book for me at the right time.

Thanks for the fabulous read, Rach!
Disclaimer: I personally know Rachael but I don't automatically give 5 stars to books of people I know. I'm a reader first on Goodreads.

7. Person of Interest season 2 finale

Yes, I am way behind on this series but I'm watching repeats of it on Foxtel. I thoroughly enjoy the premise of the show and the acting as well.

the blurb from IMBD: An ex-assassin and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes--including the civilians' roles--are left a mystery.

Semi- regular star Amy Acker is amazing! Lots of action scenes, which are done really well, and of course there's the questions of AIs and surveillance. As well as entertain, it does make you think about the freedoms we have lost in the guise of security. 

and last but not least 
8. Star Wars Colouring Book

My amazing friend Alison gave me a Star Wars Colouring book for Christmas! The designs are in the Art-Nouveau style and just amazing. I've only done one so far, but I'm in need of more mindfulness real soon.

How about you - what were your favourite things for January?


Friday, 22 January 2016

Flash Fiction Friday: Diaspora and some inspiration behind it

I have a body of flash fiction behind me and I wanted to share some on the blog (though you can get to them from my website).

Here is my first flash fiction that I had done as part of a Clayton's challenge many years ago. The theme had been 'left behind' and a picture of my grandmother came into my head as had a moving song by the Greek singer, Glykeria.


The land cried out for all those who had dispersed from its shores. The old woman sat on the wooden stool knitting with a tear in her eye, blistered hands trying to work a delicate pattern into shape. It is for her grandchild, half a world away. The seeds of a generation lost to this land, who had taken root in another. Here was her life and her world; she could not go with them. She was lucky – she still had family with her. But like the land, while it lessened the loss and the ache, she still missed them.


I hope you enjoyed.

I think it appropriate I post at a time when there is such a migration of people today their leaving war torn countries behind by any means necessary. My heart goes out to these people as how could they stay even if they wanted to - the places they flee from are in rubble. 

*rant begins* 
Some people forget there have been countless migrations before with people wanting a better life for their children, so please don't ostracise. Humanity and kindness shouldn't have any borders. Remember it could be any one of us.
*rant over*


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Challenges galore...

Okay so most of my challenges are reading ones and I'm crossing over with those - i.e. I'm using the same books on different once - but they still count as part of the galore.

It's been a good start to the year so far and I'm working towards it being a consistent thing by routines and schedules. Hark - routines - I always thought I hated routines but I think it's the type that you do for the sake of doing type routines, instead for a real purpose like to make life easier.

Anyway, by putting some sort of semblance of routine in my life, I am making time for reading - which you already knew about (and you can read about on my Eleni's Library blog here) but other challenges such as two you don't know about unless you follow me on Facebook.

52 week Illustration Challenge

Firstly the 52 week Illustration Challenge - yep you guessed it, that means doing an illustration (whether by hand or digital) each week for the whole year! I'm part of a closed group on Facebook and I have been lurking for the last couple of years on this loop. Finally, I have been able to join in. I needed to focus on my illustrated creative side and not lose any skill that I gained in Tafe.

Here are my contributions so far:

Week 1: Fancy Dress

I was shocked and excited that Sally from the
challenge selected this as one of her picks
for the week!! You can see the post here.

Week 2: Outdoors

I have a slight Owl obsession...

I sign them as HelzKat Designs as that is my design alter ego but I am not on Facebook as a profile but only a page, so using Eleni. Looking forward to undertaking next week's theme: theme parks.

There are some incredible artists in the loop and one day I hope to be as good as them. But for me it's about developing my skills and most importantly having fun, which I am.

52 week Flash Fiction challenge

The other challenge that is more relevant to my writing life is the 52 week Flash Fiction challenge. That is a closed group as well with no blog or website, but in no way any less important. I'm reading some great stuff and I have done one story so far and working on my second one. I hope to share some of these Flash Fiction stories in future - most likely in my new newsletter!

This is getting the writing side of my brain working and this length is perfect for me at the moment.

Becoming more professional (personal author challenge)

And that brings me to the final challenge - getting myself organised as an author.
This includes organising the newsletter I have wanted to do for a long time. I'll be starting sending a newsletter (no more than one a month) in the next month or so. If you would like to sign up, you can do so below.

There'll be all sort of extra goodies like stories, behind the scenes stuff, and giveaways.

That's it from me.
Keep well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...