My books arrived!

The three hard cover copies I ordered to give Jayden, Caitie and Callum for Christmas arrived yesterday, well in time for Christmas.  So pleased.  The quality is amazing, and it’s an incredible feeling holding it in my hands as an actual book!

The illustrations Mum and Jayden did look really great.

It’s for sale on Blurb if anyone is interested.  Because it’s printed to order, it’s quite expensive, so I haven’t added a profit for me.  That means I don’t make any money off it, which is fine, that was never the intention anyway.  If anyone buys one and they or their child enjoys it, that’s the main thing.

An interview with author Adrienne Lilley


You have a particular interest in non-fiction, including reading medical writing. What is it about these that interests you? Do you utilise the knowledge you gain in your own writing?
Oh, you know, when you find something you’re good at, you often tend to embrace it. I lost my amazing ability to multitask in a stressful environment that earned me my income, so nowadays, I have a near perfect memory for dates, doctors, diagnoses, and just about anything medical– once I’ve learned it, I rarely forget it. In fact, if I were well today, I would likely be a Pharmacologist. It’s a weird thing to admit, but we all have our talents! I do of course take many medicines but I can tell you what each one looks like, what writing it has on it, if any, and their color and purpose.

When I was a young child, I read every single ingredient from every single shampoo bottle, food product, anything with writing in the house– I devoured the written word. I repeatedly read the same products and words over, and over, until at last I could at least recognize their phonetic breakdown, spell them, YES even if I didn’t know what they meant. Certainly I was teased and called ‘wordy’, which is a nice compliment now. Ha!

I remember going to the public libraries and researching my kidney symptoms when I was only 14-16 years old. My mother and I spent many weekend days there, because the doctors didn’t believe my pain was serious, and because I kept insisting something was seriously wrong. I was six when it began, and seventeen when the kidney and gland were removed. It was in these old physician’s only medical texts that I first learned some medical jargon, and gained a rudimentary understanding of the urological system. It saved my life, just not my kidney nor my adrenal gland.

Once high school was over, I had no need for medical knowledge, and I tossed it all away. However, in just a few short years at the age of twenty-two or so, I got hit with the adrenal crapola from hell! Then, I was too sick to really go to the libraries, and the internet wasn’t even around for anything other than gaming. We’re talking 1993 here. I was working 80-90 hour weeks and had no time for research. Seriously.

Once I was back in the ‘system’ (the medical system) in my home state of S.California, it was a matter of picking up the lingo and information as I went along. I had so many tests, not just the normal x-rays, blood tests, but also MRI’s, IVPs, just nuclear medicine tests at the cost of thousands of dollars. Once I learned this adrenal failure happened because of corticosteroids I was given to help me breathe, I became nearly obsessed with not allowing my ignorance to ‘bite’ me in the ass again. Had I of known, been told, read the package leaflet… maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t have become so ill. So, essentially, I either understand everything they are DOING to MY BODY, and I make intelligent suggestions along the way thus becoming an active participant in my OWN healthcare, or— I die. It became as simple as that. I was close, there were mistakes in medication, diagnoses, and malpractice and an amazing amount of pure negligence along the road these past twenty-five years. There’s friends who have died. People younger than my nearly 47 years. BUT, it IS a choice: you either buck up and do THEIR job WITH them or FOR them, or you could easily die. And not peacefully usually!

By the way… I have no issues with dying really, but I’ll be damned if it’s going to be from neglecting myself. I do the best I can to be a compliant patient, but I am nobody’s fool. Now. So why DO I really write about it? Because I feel very alone in it. Nobody has all the circumstances and quirks and diagnoses that I do, I mean, my body’s its own Whata Wreck. But. . . surely there are others that can benefit from my experiences? There is no one protocol for much of this adrenal / endocrine system failure. And I am NOT afraid to give some pretty strong advice. Ha! But really, I write about it also because the physical act of typing it all out makes it clearer in my mind what needs to be done. I always have to have a plan or three, and I must constantly evaluate those to weave in the variables of my illness… nothing stays the same for too long. Writing usually makes me feel like I am SPEAKING to someone, for once. That illusive someone who may read my hypotheses for recovery, or may at least agree with me on how little value life can be. I need no sugar coating– I like my reality with a double shot of ‘just the facts, ma’am’. I can come to my own ‘hopeful’ or ‘bleak’ conclusions. I did not put myself back together with glue and tears and medications just to be taken apart by their lies and indifference again. No sirree.

Tell me about a piece of writing that stayed with you or was particularly memorable.
Oh, I’d have to say Mannequined allowed me to express a feeling of why I used to consider myself to be stupid, in an interesting way. I stayed pretty quiet in my relationships because I had no basis for anything resembling normal. I hadn’t had time to develop yet; like a Polaroid photograph that is still developing, but I was so impatient with myself. I figured it out though. Eventually.

My inner child was just too
indelibly written within.
A life spent in survival mode
was still just… too raw.
My spine was too weak,
my tongue too flayed…
to speak my truth, then.

So I mannequined instead with other men.
Gave away my bits, one page at a time.
Such self destructive behavior.
Mannequined by Adrienne Lilley

But really i hate carnations because my dad was a hard person to get to know really deeply, kinda like myself. He just showed the shallow stuff, mostly, and waited for a person to be interested in more before revealing anything vulnerable about himself. And because I feel him closer to me when I read the poem about the day of his farcical funeral. Rather a comedy of errors and incidents that weren’t too funny, but then my dad and I shared our weird sense of humor, so….

Some of your writing is very personal. How important is it that you share your own story, or is sharing your work merely a byproduct of your need to write your experiences for yourself?
I figured out a while ago that if I don’t post my more intimate poetry for public consumption, then I just won’t write it. Then it all gets stuffed inside, and people are not supposed to be olives, right? We aren’t cannon that will one day just implode! Well, we aren’t supposed to be, I’m sure. I just kind of start to lose it if I cannot express a time in my life that was painful. Writing about it sucks—it hurts. There’s such indecision, and second-guessing going on. But once it’s completed, there’s a sense of satisfaction at having turned something ugly into. . . I dunno, perhaps something another person can relate to. Maybe there’s truly a few people who read it and feel better just knowing they aren’t alone in their experiences and / or feelings. I think cancer finds its way in when we refuse or cannot release these negative, pent-up emotions. I mean, I’m going out a different way, not cancer. A great example of how personal is too personal would be: Transient Murderer. There are not many who could share something like that, and I envy them because they likely don’t NEED to share it– but I really did. What I am NOT doing is airing my dirty laundry in some half-cocked contest of who’s had it worse. Everyone has their shit in life– I’m saying, this is mine.

How has writing changed your life?
Tres bien, ah de trop Madame! So, so very much. Before I found Writing.com, it was just me and my illness. I had within one month been put on permanent disability from the job of my dreams; I’d had to give up my swanky little apartment and move back in with my mother; I had to quit college– my life just was put on hold. About a year later, my mother got a home computer and I began to research my ‘Cushing’s Syndrome’ and umm etc. I’ll spare you ha ha! But finding WdC was fun. I was WhataWriter and it was a total joke! Whata did I ever write? Some, not much.

I can’t really socialize with my illness—it stresses me out too much. I’m the worst kind of friend, unreliable due to something that really wasn’t ever my fault. I know that now, but I still must be vigilant. And the older I get the worse it all gets so hey, lots of material to write about eh! So separating my medical ‘crapola’ as I refer to it and my writing endeavors is pretty difficult—which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who knows. But writing helps me cope.

Do you listen to music when you’re writing? Do you have a favourite ‘soundtrack’ for writing?
Oh aye, of course, I simply must! Anything will do, but it goes with the theme of my writing. If it’s sad, then sad songs; if it’s angry or fun it could be heavy metal to Imagine Dragons to Scorps to… I do so love music. In fact, a phrase in a song might playback all manner of memories; it is often the beginning of some dark poem. If I’m really into something deep, something as yet intangible (or even a punctuation or structural nightmare) I’ll switch to instrumental only music. I love the ‘Lost Christmas Eve’ album from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. And Archangel, a newer one. I like Andrea Bocelli. My friend Bobby is always great for some music referrals if needed! This poem was like that, and I’m still contemplating a few edits on it: Archivist of. . .. I wrote it to mimic four movements, but the subject is how to fill the hours. My favorite movie as well, ‘The Hours’.

Do you have a favourite author?
Definitely. I hearken back to my first favorite author, because it’s kinda like a first love, even though I’ve quite a few more favorites since: Diana Gabaldon. She writes the voluminous ‘Outlander’ series which I think there’s nearly twenty of them now? Not slight, modest books are these—they’re like 800-1000 pages. Hardback. Anyways, I used to work (for years) in bookstores. I found ‘Outlander’ before it was an international bestseller. Yeah, I like to say I made her rich ha ha ha. But it’s just that great a series. The TV Show has been amazingly true to the books as well. She made me want to BE a writer. I just haven’t found the time away from my emotions to get serious about writing fiction! But I want to. I have a little something-something in the works….

Or perhaps an author you view as an inspiration?
My favorite fantasy series are on Amazon by Robert Anton. It’s an enchanting world, wonderfully written. Amazing talent. But he is also my favorite non-fiction author on Writing.com, I can get so engrossed in his philosophical and scientific articles! Yeah, I just love to learn new things… ancient civilizations are kewl too. Yup, Bobby is a huge inspiration– and one of my biggest fans. Not to mention my editor when he isn’t TOO busy and I have tough enough skin to take it. He’s a rare, excellent quality gem.

What’s your favourite piece of your own writing?
Well, it’s actually my epic 4600 or so word biography, Just Another Walk in the Rain. I began writing it when I first joined Writing.com, waaay back in 2002. When I came back as simply ‘whata’ two years ago, I thought what absolute shite! I had to rewrite it. It took months. It was most difficult because the medical events were mostly so long ago, I couldn’t get the timeline cohesive enough. I do so loathe structural issues. So when it was completed, I really did feel such a sense of accomplishment. It isn’t the easiest material to write about. However, in reading it over once again this morning, I vow to make a part II. What more could I possibly add? I was more optimistic when I rewrote it just two years ago; I’d like to infuse some of my dark charm into it. Because I’m neither happy-go-lucky-Whata, nor down-in-the-dumps-Adrie. I’m kinda stuck right now, somewhere in between. I mean, I am, after all, a realist. I used to be such a dreamer….

We are all born into this world as innocents, right? To me, life is not so easily defined. After years of obsessive research, I’ve concluded that we are sent to this earth as a lesson. This lesson teaches us to be kind, to persevere, to help our fellow man, to love and be loved in return. Most of all, life is a lesson to never, ever, give up. We must keep fighting, not merely to survive, but in order for us to thrive. I surmise these are the lessons we are meant to learn before our corporeal selves die, and we are released into the spirit world.

No, I am not a Shaman, nor am I a wiseass: I speak in earnest. I am a person who has seriously visited a kind of hell, one on this earth, and have learned many lessons from my unhappiness. Now, at the age of forty-four, I am quite set on my path of righteousness. Not that everyone will, or should, follow my path, as it is for me. I have earned it, you could say. However, I do stumble, but I’ll continue to drag myself up, dust my bum off, and try in earnest to learn from my life’s lessons. It is this knowledge, and my secret hope that propels me to seek a more fulfilling life.
Just Another Walk in the Rain by Adrienne Lilley

Yes, this is me. Longwinded. Irreverent. But hopefully always as truthful as I can be (according to how much denial I’m in at the time, of course).

You can read more of Adrienne’s work at her Writing.com portfolio.

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Books read in November

Inarticulate by Eden Summers *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Enemies Like You by Annika Martin and Joanna Chambers *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Tell Me by Abigail Strom *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Highland Spring by Elizabeth Rose *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Twin Passions by Miriam Minger *Star**Star**Starw**Starw**Starw*

Chase by Candice Blake  *Star**Star**Starw**Starw**Starw*

Lachlan by Hazel Hunter *Star**Star**Star**Star**Starw*

Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy *Star**Star**Star**Star**Starw*

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase *Star**Star**Star**Starw**Starw*

Enemies Like You by Annika Martin and Joanna Chambers
Seriously, if you like m/m romance, read this book.  Don’t read it for the spy theme or the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope.  Read it because it’s unique and hilarious and sweet and easy to read.  A perfect book to get lost in or to lounge by the pool with or to read on a rainy day.  Okay, whenever.  Ha ha!  I enjoyed it, can you tell?  The very beginning had me thinking ‘Wait, is this the book I thought it was?’ and then I was like ‘Oh damn!  That’s different.  Love it!’  From then on, I was in.  Let me know if you read it, and if you do, if you enjoy it!

Twin Passions by Miriam Minger
I didn’t have particularly high expectations of this book, but I did come away with a few grumbles.  If you can believe that a man can’t tell that the stable lad is actually the same lass he’s sleeping with, when the only thing to change is the clothes, then that’s fine.  I had my doubts, but you suspend your disbelief with books like this, don’t you?  I did feel the ‘disguise’ needed a little more substance, but whatever.  The thing that really bugged me was the head hopping – literally different points of view from paragraph to paragraph, and the fact that the author kept referring to things from a character’s point of view that the character couldn’t or didn’t know.  For instance, we’d be in the hero’s point of view, and the author would refer to him calling out to the girl working in the stables, but the hero didn’t know it was a girl and so it should have been referred to as the hero calling out to the boy working in the stables.  That makes sense, right?  I think if the book was written so we stayed in one character’s point of view completely for a whole chapter at a time, the book would be a decent three star and have potential for a fourth.  I think it would be a light, easy read.

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Grand & Epic Adventures

Guess what! Okay, you'll never guess. I'm so excited though. This is big news. HUGE! *Laugh*

Today, I finally finished writing Grand & Epic Adventures, the novel I started in 2012 for NaNoWriMo. *Shock*

It's taken me FIVE YEARS, but I finally finished it!

Mum has done some amazing illustrations for it, and so has Jayden, and I'm going to submit it to Blurb for printing before their sale ends on Wednesday. If it arrives in time (fingers crossed!), my kids and my nephew will finally get to read it on Christmas Day.

I can't believe I've actually finished it! Five years! Ha ha! I'm almost giddy. I was busy writing the last chapter today while Mum and Jayden were working on the drawings, and I've just finished it. Squee! I did it!

It's nine chapters, plus two bonus 'prequel' short stories that I wrote for Writing.com's NaNoWriMo prep challenge in 2012 that I'm going to include. The nine chapters are 33,827 words, and the short stories are 834 and 549 words, so 35,210 words in total. I think that's within the realm of normal for a chapter book aimed at (gifted) 11-13 year old children.

Of course, Jayden is now 16 (oops!) but better late than never, right? *Laugh*

Anyway, I'm so happy. Partly because I can't believe I actually finished a project for once. *Rolleyes* *Smirk2*

A month until Christmas

Fell down the stairs this morning.  Not a great start to the day.  I'm okay, just stubbed my toes and bruised and skinned my elbow.  Gave me more of a fright than anything, although my elbow is a bit sore and tender.

Found out today that Blurb is having it's big pre-Christmas sale - 50% off photo books and 30% off trade books.  Spoke to Mum, and we've arranged to get together to finish the book tomorrow so that we can order it.  It may even arrive in time for Christmas!  I hope so, because this book will be the only decent present the kids get from me and Steve this Christmas.  I've got them the book, a blank journal to write their own stories in, a matching pen, and a small trinket each that relates back to the story.  That's it.  Nothing else.  Literally nothing else.  Will be a very strange Christmas. They'll understand, and they've been warned.  It's all about saving for the UK trip, which is totally worth it.  Will be weird though.  So yeah, I hope this book arrives in time or Christmas!

Speaking of, I better get working on finishing the last chapter!

End of The Year- Book Tag

This tag always weirds me out when I see it pop up, because it seems like something you should do in late December, reviewing your year of books. Instead, it’s more like an ‘Oh shit, the end of the year is coming up, have I read everything I wanted to read this year’ tag. Which is weird again, because are people really that anal about reading books in a particular year? It shouldn’t be that much work. Read what you want to read, when you want to read it.

Anyway, despite all that, I’m doing this tag. Why? Mostly because I just read the perfect book to answer the second question with. Ha ha!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
Need is too strong a word, but yes, there are books that I’ve started this year and left unfinished.

Between These Sheets

There is a LOT of sex in this book.  And angst.  Sex and angst.  I needed a break, and haven’t felt the urge to go back to it yet.  I think it’ll end up being a three star read, so it’s not awful, just not enthralling, you know?  58% complete.

Play of Passion (Psy-Changeling, #9)

While I think the Psy Changeling series is brilliant, and Nalini Singh is a fantastic author (and a Kiwi!  I’ve met her and have an autographed copy of the first book in this series), these two characters aren’t grabbing me as much as others in the series have.  I do, however, really want to finish this book, because I want to read others in the series.  This series has a strong story arc, so while each novel tells the romance of one particular couple, they really need to be read in order.  So yep, gotta finish this one.  21% complete.

Hard For My Boss

I couldn’t remember what this one was about (other than being an obvious office romance), and the blurb doesn’t give anything more away, so I opened it up and read a few pages… still nothing.  Ha ha, oops.  Clearly not memorable.  46% complete.

Served (Breaking Free Standalone Book 3)

This was good, but then I felt like they’d resolved the tension, and at that point I kind of gave up on it.  I know from the blurb that there’s more drama and action to come, but it’s frustrating when you get that to point in the book where you could happily say ‘The End’ and yet you’re only… 53% complete.  *facepalm*

Duty Bound

This book is old-fashioned and set in historical America.  I’m not wowed.  I’m leaning towards two stars at the moment.  39% complete.

Charming: A Cinderella Billionaire Story

I enjoyed the beginning of this book, but like Served, I felt like it got to a point and then just…kept going.  Hopefully there’s some more action ahead to gather back some momentum, but right now it feels like I’ve read the good bits and I’m just waiting for the end.  45% complete.

What Goes on Tour (The Texan Quartet #1)

I enjoyed this one, but just felt like a change in pace.  I’ll go back and finish this one, it’s good, but sweet, and I was looking for something a little meatier.  Not that I found it, but that’s why I put it down.  71% complete.

Do you have a spring book to transition into the end of the year?

This question originally asked for an ‘autumnal book’, but in the Southern Hemisphere, we’re in spring, not autumn.  And see, this is why I had to do this tag:

Highland Spring (Seasons of Fortitude Book 1)

Just finished this one.  I liked the plot, I liked the female lead, but the writing style meant it was never going to be a five star read.  Too much telling instead of showing.  I think the author had some great ideas, but the story didn’t deliver the wow factor that it could have.  And there was some heavy handed foreshadowing too, which made the book entirely predictable.  But still an okay read.  I’m giving it three stars.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Not really, I’m terrible at knowing what books are coming out.  I went and checked out Maya Banks’ page, and saw she has some coming out next year that I’ll get.

Although the last one in the Slow Burn series sucked ass, I’ll still get the next one.  The first three in the series were fantastic, so I’ll give her a second chance to redeem the series.

I wish Maya would write the next one in the Montgomerys and Armstrongs series.  I’ve re-read them multiple times, and there was supposed to be a third book but she hasn’t written it yet.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Ooh, tough call.  Um…  I was thinking about reading the next three in the series after Highland Spring.  Mostly because the plot of the last one in the series intrigues me.  They’re called Summer’s Reign, Autumn’s Touch and Winter’s Flame.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

This one kind of depends on you knowing what you’re going to read, doesn’t it?  Which I don’t.  Well, um…  I guess any of the unfinished ones above could.  Mum’s just bought the Shattered Sisters series by Maggie Shayne, so I’ll probably give that a go.  They could be good.  I’ve got a couple of samples to try out, so maybe Sensing Danger by Wendy Vella or Mr Rich by Virna DePaul…  I guess you’re always hoping the next book is going to be amazing.  I mean, you’d much rather read a five star book than a three star (or worse) book, right?

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Nope.   I get daily emails with book recommendations, and when I’m stuck for books, I go through the emails and download a bunch of samples, then I just work my way through the samples, buying the books that catch my interest and deleting the samples that didn’t appeal. That’s pretty much my modus operandi.  There’s not really even a TBR list or pile.  It’s just whatever I feel like, when I feel like it.

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Spring

Today is the kind of spring day where the grass looks clean and fresh, inviting you to kick off your jandals and discard your worries, and run barefoot, scattering lambs and pukeko before you as peals of laughter ring out.

Instead, I have to work in an office with no windows, and on Friday they're turning the air conditioning off to install some new system.  Days like today, adulting sucks.

Sky scrawl

Like a rough pencil sketch,
a dragon's head
materialised from the clouds,
the edges blurred in
shades of lead and cream
against a background that
may have been called
cerulean, but was probably
                                            azure.
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THE LIEBSTER AWARD

Woohoo, my Wordpress blog was nominated for The Liebster Award!  Thank you so much to Rachel Peck for nominating me.  This is my very first such nomination, so I’m pretty happy with her.  Ha ha!  You should check out Rachel’s blog, she’s an amazing writer.  I actually interviewed her a while back – An interview with author Rachel Peck.  I met Rachel on Writing.com and she is an amazing poet.  She writes with such passion and emotion, it’s no surprise she’s been published. She’s pretty new to WordPress, so go and check out her blog and give her some love.

Random Facts About Me . . .



    • I grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand.  It was a beef farm, about 330 acres.  Apart from 18 months when my parents did a working holiday in UK, I’ve lived my whole life in New Zealand.

    • I grew up with a lot of British humour in my life, partly because New Zealand as a country has a very strong British heritage, and partly because my parents are both English.  As a result, I tend more toward the British sense of humour than the American.  And yes, I think there’s a difference.  😉

    • I love making homemade gifts.

    • I love rollercoasters.  Am hoping to go on at least one REALLY big one when we go to the UK next year.  There are no really big rollercoasters in New Zealand.

    • I don’t drink alcohol very often, but I have a pretty decent alcohol collection.  The whisky belongs to my husband, and the vodka and port are mine.  At the moment, I have toffee vodka, feijoa vodka and the very cool Royal Dragon vodka, both the Elite and Imperial.  I’ve just found out there’s also an Emperor version of the Royal Dragon vodka.  #want!  My favourite port is Taylor’s tawny port, but I also like Sea Red, a red dessert wine from Clearview Estate Winery in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay.  I like to try/collect weird and unusual alcohols too, so I always have a bottle of Purple Death in the cupboard. It’s delicious over vanilla ice cream.

    • I’m not afraid of public speaking.  I was a precocious child, and did debating in high school and joined a public speaking group in my teens.  I wouldn’t say I enjoy public speaking, but I’m comfortable enough with it.

    • My oldest online friend is chichiwawa.  We met online in 1997, and have never met.  He lives in Belgium.  I’m also still in contact with friends I met on Livejournal in 2001 when I first started blogging.  Haven’t met them either since they live in America.

    • I get more enjoyment out of starting a project than completing one.  Which explains why I have so many unfinished ones, right?

    • I read on an iphone (nope, not a Kindle, just the Kindle app) and write on a Gigabyte laptop.  I did have a Mac laptop previously but I grew up with Windows and would get frustrated with the differences between Macs and Windows.

    • I use a lot of Kiwi slang when I talk.  Some of it comes through in my writing, but it’s more prolific when I talk.


I would like to nominate the following wonderful blogs:
Mtnbeachmama’s Blog. This blog is full of beautifully worded observations, of both nature and people. Rivers is a good example post to check out, I think. I love the photos as well as the descriptions.

The Feisty Pauper. You gotta love it just from the name, right? 😛 Another good example of her humour can be found in this post. I’ve never read anyone else saying that they need glucosamine and good sneakers to survive the zombie apocalypse! Ha ha!

Stories for Strength. Observations from a real woman facing real life and encouraging us all to laugh at ourselves, empathise and unite. I love this post – Dinner: Why must they eat it every night?. As a mother, this was the one that won me over. If you have any life hacks to offer Rachael, please do share them with her!

Enchanted by Books. If you like books, you have to check out this blog. Book reviews, book tags, everything book-related you could ask for. Everything from The Art of War to Harry Potter. 🙂

made things. Poetry, musings, gratitude, and insight. I love this poem – castle of my imagination.  There is loads more to love too, go and check it out.

My answers to Rachel’s questions:


  • Most importantly. What type of chocolate do you prefer? Dark, milk, or white?
    Milk.  Definitely milk.  I’m not a fan of dark or white chocolate.  I have recently discovered caramelised white chocolate though, specifically Cadbury Caramilk, and I think I’m in love.  Ha ha!

  • Is there a time of day you are most creative?
    No, I don’t think so.  But I do find I get more ideas when I’m driving than at any other time.

  • Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?
    I like to listen to classical music when I’m writing stories, and rock or classic rock when I’m writing poetry.  Nothing in particular when I’m blogging.

  • When did you know you were a writer? Have you always known?
    I started keeping a journal when I was 14, and I probably started writing poetry then too.  I remember writing and sharing  poems while on Scout camps, and that was between ages 14-16 I think.  I suppose I considered myself a writer from then on.  I knew that most people my age weren’t writing poetry at that time, so I was different – a writer.

  • Who has had the most influence on your writing?
    The people at Writing.com.  Through their feedback, examples and inspiration, they’ve helped me grow more as a writer than anyone.   I could name names, and there are two in particular that come to mind (one for poetry and one for stories) but it’s a cumulative thing, you know?  A combination of a variety of feedback and inspiration and then taking what works for me, and leaving what doesn’t.

  • How do you promote your own work?
    Hmm…   Posting it on social media (here, Wordpress, G+, Twitter, Tumblr) is the extent of my promotion.  And it’s kind of a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of promotion.  I don’t put a lot of thought into convincing people to read or like.  If they do, they do.  If they don’t, they don’t.

  • What is your all-time favourite film?
    Hmm, that’s a hard one.  I’m more of a reader than a watcher.  Before I had kids, I never watched cartoons or animated movies, but now I find some of them quite brilliant.  Ice Age was just hilarious.  I liked the X-Men series and the Die Hard series.  Despite that, I do tend towards chick flicks.  Honestly I don’t know about a favourite though.  Tough question!

  • What authors did you love to read as a child?
    Ooh, another tough question.  I went to a very small primary (elementary) school.  There were only 60 kids there, and it was a little country school, with a library to match.  I read every book in that library.  We always had books at home, but it was a relatively small, static collection.  I didn’t belong to a public library because we lived in the middle of nowhere and the nearest public library wasn’t convenient to our house.  My mother teases me that I was so desperate for reading material that I would read cereal boxes, or the newspaper used to insulate the house walls.  I didn’t really develop a ‘favourite author’ as a child because I didn’t have the luxury of that I guess. The first author I can remember considering a ”favourite’ was Anne McCaffrey, and that was in high school.  High school came with a whole new library of books to read!  Ha ha!  So yeah, Anne McCaffrey was my first favourite author, probably followed by Jean M Auel and her Earth’s Children series.

  • Do you belong to any writing or critiquing groups? How important do you think that is?
    Only Writing.com.  None in real life.  But Writing.com has been vitally important in my development as a writer, and also in my perseverance as a writer.  I had a break from Writing.com for a few years when my children were very small (and money was very tight) and I wrote very little (apart from blogging/journaling, no poems or short stories) and my writing didn’t develop or grow.  So yeah, I think that feedback, inspiration and encouragement is very important.  It is to me, anyway.

  • Who is your favourite author? Do you write in the same genre as them?
    Um…  Right now, my favourite author is probably Jaime Reese, followed by Maya Banks.  They both write romance.  I write…whatever I’m inspired to write.  I think I probably write more children’s fantasy than anything, but some romance.  I think I’m slowly starting to veer more towards romance, as I gain confidence in writing in that genre.

My questions for my nominees


  • What’s the first indulgence you’d buy yourself if you won the lottery?

  • What’s your favourite comfort food?

  • Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

  • What kind(s) of music do you like to listen to?

  • What’s the most important thing on your bucket list?

  • What’s one thing about blogging or blogs that annoys you?

  • In your personal opinion, what is the most annoying sound in the world?

  • What time is bedtime for you?

  • Do you have a ‘signature dish’ that you make for dinner guests or when it’s your turn to cook?  Tell us about it!  (Bonus points if you share the recipe! Ha ha!)

  • Have you ever fallen in love with a place through a book or photo?  Have you been there in real life, and if so, how did it compare?  If not, do you plan to go?

  • Which of your personality traits would make you hard to live with?



Rules Rules Rules. Here is what to do, once you’ve been nominated.


    1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.

    2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

    3. For the 2017 Liebster Award, I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.

    4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)

    5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

    6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post). Once you have written and published it, you then have to inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or the original one if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).




I found it interesting that the posts don’t seem to actually be following the rules.  The questions and answers aren’t noted in the rules, but are mentioned on the original page.  Possibly a leftover from previous years, but clearly people enjoy learning about others through the questions.  I did, so I’ve included them. And I’m not sure I have one favourite blog to babble about, but I’ve tried to share why I’ve nominated the blogs that I have, and you should definitely check them out.  They deserve to have more than 200 followers!
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