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A Writer's House

Although I admit that there are many other voracious readers out there whose houses are overflowing with books just like mine is, I'm sure every writer out there can relate to my current dilemma. Books are overtaking my house. I love it, but it is a bit of an organizational nightmare. In fact, the last time we moved when my brother-in-law was helping and carrying out his fifth box of books, he couldn't believe it "How many books do you have?". "Another one?" he said as I hand him a large bin marked books.
Now I am more than completely glad to have this many books in my house and always will, but I'm running out of room to store them :I :) Which makes me both annoyed (in the organizational part of my brain) and ecstatically happy (in the creative part of my brain).
So here's a little peek into the overflowingness of books in a writer's house. :D

My wonderful writing books smack dab in the centre of my desk,
 as I need to refer to them, a lot!

My overflowing bookshelf beside my desk

The bin of books which don't fit on the shelf, 
currently underneath my desk

Book I'm reading right now, on the edge of my desk

Another book I'm reading right now, 
in the pocket of the rocking chair

Books in my bathroom that I'm chipping away at

More books in my bathroom that I'm trying to chip away at

My cupboard of cookbooks 
(which overflows into the bookshelf by my desk)

My Narnia books on display with their fabulous bookends

The books currently on my bedside table

I'm also very proud of how much my children love books!
This is their little bookshelf

Plus the overflow of more of their books

And even more overflow into the drawer of the above bookshelf

Plus a couple of my random books on the same shelf


Yeah, I've got a ton of books, and I want even more. Ideally I'd love to eventually have my own library. But for now I'll just let the wonderful pages upon pages overtake my house :D


Recipe Recap:

Dinner From Last Week: Beef Barley Soup
Went really well (and this was actually made a number of weeks ago, but I'm just catching up now :D). I had to use actual tomatoes because I didn't have any canned tomatoes. But it was quite tasty and warm and hit the spot on a cold day.





Dessert From Last Week: Cranberry Bars
So for these after I started mixing the dry ingredients, I realized that my cake mix package was only half the size of what this recipe called for. I had to half all the other stuff for the crumble. Plus all I had was chocolate cake mix, so it was quite different than the actually recipe and only had half the crumble it was supposed to, but they were so tasty! Loved them with the chocolate. And I might just have to make these again with the full crumble instead of halving it!


Dinner For This Week: Slow Cooker Venison Roast - This sounds good, but the reviews seem pretty divided. I'm going to follow a lot of reviewer recommendations and sub potato for the fresh onion and use garlic powder instead of garlic salt.

Dessert For This Week: Chocolate Shortbread Sandwiches - Even though it's not Valentine's Day, I gotta try these!

WAM Moment of the Week:
- my husband was playing a lego videogame with my son and had moved the remotes of my daughter Kaia's reach. All of a sudden he said he felt something on his back. He looked around and Kaia had climbed up on the couch to get to the remotes! :O So yes my daughter is quite the climber now, but I had to laugh at how surprised my husband was at her determination to get to those really fun remotes :D

Cheers!


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The Saviour of My Soul and a Merry Christmas to All

On this day many are celebrating a variety of things, I myself am celebrating Christmas with a special focus on my Saviour Jesus Christ.

It doesn't matter to me what you may or may not believe and may or may not celebrate. Personally? Wish me whatever you please, Happy Holidays, good Kwanzaa, Hanuka or Christmas, if it's said with a smile and good intentions then I'll smile right back! :)  This is a time for people to come together and spend time sharing and caring.

Although for some, this is a particularly hard season as they may not have family or feel like anyone cares. If you notice one of these people please reach out and give them a smile, invite them over to join in your family celebrations, be inclusive, be kind. It can not only make someone's day but keep them going and in good spirits for a long time. We all need those happy memories to hang on to when the hard times come. If you happen to be someone who's feeling all alone and unloved and you're reading this, please reach out to those around you. So many people care that you may not think do. I care too and hope that you find peace and happiness.

For me this is a season of family and good tidings and giving, but it is also a time for me to Honour my Saviour. I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour and that He died for me and that He Lives. At this special time of year I hope to show how much I try to follow him, both in how I treat others and in the smile and kindness on my face.

I hope each and every one out there has a very wonderful season, filled with joy, laughter, good company, and snuggling into the warm blankets on a cold morning. (Or trying to stay cool and still enjoy the season if you're in the Southern Hemisphere :D)

Merry Christmas! Laugh and Love and Please Drive Safe!

Cheers!


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Let's Be Honest. I Bit Off WAY More Than I Could Chew.


So I went to the most amazing Writer's Fair at the beginning of November. I got all motivated and excited about my writing again. Therefore I readjusted my deadline for sending out my manuscript, and I decided to do NaNoWriMo which for those who don't know means you start a new novel at the beginning of the month and try to write 50000 words in that month. Both of these on top of my day to day chores with a house and two kids, plus teaching a women's class at church and being a single mom for three weeks out of the month because my husband was taking a longer shift at his job out of province. Then my health tanked, problems that not the least of which was severe exhaustion (despite 7-10 hours of sleep most nights) and some huge issues with postpartum depression. See How I Deal With PostPartum Depression

How did it all end? I still didn't make my deadline and I only got about 1000 words into the book I started for NaNoWriMo. Now a part of me really thinks of this as a failure but another part of me realizes that I still tried, and that you have to tackle life as it comes. Am I upset that I didn't make my deadlines or meet those goals that I wanted too? Darn right I am. However, I am honest enough with myself to know that my health and exhaustion contributed to this. I actually finally began to feel like myself again (for the first time in months) in the past couple weeks.

As much as I would've loved to do everything I tackled it didn't happen. But at the same time I can still keep working towards those goals, just because I didn't finish them when I wanted to doesn't mean I should just give up on them. I will accomplish my goals, it may just take some extra time.

The end result is that day by day I'm slowly becoming more of the person I want to be. With the aid of good doctors and friends and family my health is getting back to normal. When I take bites of the proverbial sandwich I'm going to take smaller bites for the next little bit, and once I swallow those begin to take bigger and bigger bites. Time marches on, but so do my trials, and hopefully my strength grows as I take them on and work and push past them, because I know I can.

So if you're having a bad day, or week, or month, remember that if you get help and understand yourself and keep working, a good day is on it's way to you.

Cheers!


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p.s. If you are also dealing with depression like I was, please talk to someone and get some help, one of the best and most informative and truthful videos about this that I've ever seen is this one here:
***Make sure to watch the whole movie all the way through

Peacock Flock Review #25 - March

March 

Author: Sunni Overend

Length: ~ 300 pages

Genre: Romance

Heat level: Moderate - for details highlight between parentheses
(Some explicit terms in foreplay, but jumps over the full 'scenes'

Stars: 3 Enjoyable Purple Stars 



Book Summary:

A creative wunderkind who once topped the country's most prestigious fashion school, Apple March is now languishing behind a retail counter. When fate shifts and her imaginative passion is reawakened, so too is the threat of a past secret.From the cool heart of Melbourne to Paris and New York, in a vibrant world of Pimms and croquet, crocodile boots and cocoon coats, Apple seeks the thrill of creative freedom and the one man worth sharing it with.A page-turning debut novel written with fun, stylish wit, March is too satisfying to miss.


Review:

We liked this. Most of the characters had distinctive traits and we thought the descriptions of everything fashion and designer were done well. However. That's about all we have for positives. There were a fair few typos and some larger ones where the sentence had to be reread a few times to understand. The main character Apple had little direction and although this did give her character some room to grow it made for a very lagging beginning. Plus Charlie and his whole family were in desperate need of some flaws. Everything about them was too perfect. Too picturesque. And did Apple come from money or not? It wasn't really clear and if she was more middle class why on earth wasn't there more reaction to the obscene amount of opulence experienced by Charlie and his family? Going to a croquet tournament and having a private area with rugs and your own personal waiter serving champagne? Yeah Apple took all the richness too much in stride for me. And the plot was just so-so. Not a lot of unexpected or unpredictable. We wanted more from it. This book hovered dangerously between 3 stars and 2.5 stars, but it was a cute (albeit very transparent) ending, so we put it into the 3 star bracket.
This review would've been 3.5 stars but we had to take .5 star off for language. There were 40+ f bombs. That is way too much swearing. And that's just the f words. We didn't even count other swears. We specifically state in the review policy that we don't like excessive language. Maybe it's different in Australia where much of the book takes place, but anything more than 5 f words and we just do not like it. We'd prefer there to be none at all. This was just time after time. From an authors stand point as well this was too much repetition. Even if it's common in Australia for f bombs to be dropped that often (which we honestly don't know) the characters began to sound all the same. And it begs the question whether or not these characters have any depth to them as they're using the same words and expressions. 
So it's a light read with okay characters. But only pick it up if you can handle a lot of language. 










That's it from the flock! 







Peacock Flock Review #24 - Wings




Wings 

Author: Aprilynne Pike

Length: ~ 290 pages

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Heat level: Clean  

Stars: 3 Enjoyable Purple Stars 



Book Summary:

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.



Review:

We enjoyed this book and read it really quickly. However we read this for the story and the world, not the characters or the depth. Most of the characters had a serious lack of flaws and there was very little conflict in the story besides a couple outside influences about 3/4 into it and the all too stereotypical choice between two guys. The concept was amazing and we loved all the scenes between Tamani and Laurel plus we liked some of the details about the world building. (Like the hair/eye colour change of the faeries) But the whole faerie world created really could've been fleshed out better. That entire King Arthur aspect should've been left out and substituted for more details about the people and the culture. This book was also quite slow. Not a lot happening. Especially in the beginning. 30 pages in and very little had happened. We wished Tamani had been introduced sooner. And we had a problem with the lack of depth in the characters. Very few if any flaws. And hardly any substantive conflict at all. We wanted more mistakes. More tension. More doing the wrong thing. But that said we did read it in two days and will be reading the next book in the series. Make of that what you will. It was a good read. 










That's it from the flock! 





When Your Writing Gets a Burst

So the posts I'd planned on writing this week didn't happen because I was getting ready for the Kamloops Writer's Fair. Worth every single penny and definitely planning on making this an annual
thing for me!
There was an open mike night, blue pencil interviews and I went to two amazing workshops that were exactly what I needed for my writing right this moment. (Editing and ebook publishing)
Even though I'm totally drained I'm happy I went and I'm inspired and gunning for doing a lot more with my writing. If any of you, my readers, live in and around the interior BC area plan on making it to the writer's fair next November! If not I'd encourage any of you other writers out there to find a local group to attend. Nothing beats rubbing shoulders with other writers when you're in a slump. You talk and discuss writing and in conversations about your current WIP (that's Work In Progress for all you non-writerly folks) and what you love to write, all of sudden you can't wait to get back to your computer.

So get back to it! Write and enjoy the writing, find the passion that started you on the writing path to begin with. If you're not a writer, explore and discover your own passion and then set aside time each week to enjoy your passion just for yourself. As for me? I'm going to go polish off a new scene in my Lasera novel and then set about typing more in Book 2 :D


Cheers!


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Tact. The Lost Ability.


Yup, you read that right. What this world really needs is yes, more kindness. But in the lack thereof please at least have a little tact!

We live in a world where so many harsh and ugly words are constantly exchanged and used in day-to-day conversation, that it is a truly sad state of affairs. Too many times a person states something that is harsh or cruel. Sometimes upon seeing others raised eyebrows and incredulous expressions the abrasive person will back track a little and say, "Well it's the truth", "I call it as I see it" or "I'm not going to apologize for how I feel", or even the dreaded "Oh I was just joking". All of the above phrases are simply excuses for being rude. And even though a person shouldn't be reprimanded and such for feeling a certain way I have never heard anyone state "I'm not going to apologize for how I feel" in a way that is at all kind or tactful. And maybe in some cases the above phrases might actually be said in a good way, but both phraseology and tone are major components of tact.

My thoughts are dwelling on this topic lately because of this article: Letter to My Daughter After Watching The Bachelor. (this blogger totally got down everything I wanted to say and more, so I focused in on having tact) Most of the time I'm only able to watch maybe one or two episodes of bachelor/big brother type reality shows before I can't stand anymore. It is one thing to speak your mind and be an independent person who owns their feelings, it is entirely something else when what you say is meant to inflict injury or pain. Cattiness, revenge, and vulgar vocabularies are all things that count against you. It will be hard to get/keep a job, friends will leave you, relationships will fail and connections with people you know will be superficial if a person is incapable of learning a little tact.

The hardest of these is when a person means well, but continually alienates and offends others because they have not learned the much needed ability of conversing with eloquence and grace. And it truly is a learned skill. You are taught how to be cognizant of someone else's feelings and experiences while talking. You are taught how to listen intently and then respond accordingly, instead of interrupting and bull-dozing in with your own opinions. You are taught how to choose your words and moderate your tone.

Some might say that you spark more discussion and get noticed more if you're abrassive or hype-up controversy and anger. In the case of media and blogging that is certainly true. Headlines that are accusatory or blog posts with harsh words are much more often clicked than those that are more moderate. I recall one blogger specifcally stating that he wasn't going to tone down his comments or posts because those harsher words and phrases equates to more people reading his blog. And you know what? He's right.

But that's not what I want. That's not what I want this blog to be. There will on occasion be a post that leans in a ranterly direction. But that's part of life. We all get upset sometimes. However despite the fact that some issues and people really do make me want to rage against the world, I have made a conscious choice not to. I will post points that I think are relevant, and I will debate things, sometimes even controversial things, but I will always try to have some tact and to make actual points. Hence my lack of excessive use of ALL CAPS (which on the internet is most often equated with yelling) and tons of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I admit that I can't please everyone though, some things I say will not be liked by everyone. But I reserve the right to disagree with you, and it would be really nice to not have you fly off the handle and get upset and start ranting and raving.

So let's make sure we're using the tact we know we have, learn some if we've got a weakness for being abrasive, and let's also make sure we're teaching our kids to be good, kind, considerate and tactful people.

Recipe Recap: With the depression I've been dealing with, yeah it was mostly chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas for dinner. Boo! That's changing though. Yay!

Dinner This Week: Beef Barley Soup -- I'm going to make this recipe as is (except put it in the slow cooker on low instead of a soup pot) and then let you guys know what I would've changed and altered for next time.

Dessert This Week: Cranberry Bars -- these sound really good :D

WAM Moment of the Week:
- changing the garbage and my son puts his head in the can once there was no bag in it and says doh doh doh. To hear the echo. I'm like GAH! No! that is so gross dude! He has yet to do it again, but can I really blame the kid? When he was yelling into that can it really did make a good echo. :| :)



Cheers!


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And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging Program


And I'm back (yet again) and oh so happy to be here! I'm consistenly going into long periods of not posting, which I'm totally not liking and I wish it wasn't happening, but yeah, life happens.

One Fantabulous H2O bottle
It seems like I'm dealing with some postpartum depression again, -- see How I Deal With Postpartum Depression -- Which is really hard. What didn't help was getting a cold twice as bad as when this one hit me. I was totally out for the count for almost two weeks. SO not fun. But thankfully I am in the process of getting the help and support I need and so I'm slowly finding my way back to my old self. FYI if you are dealing with depression DRINK WATER! It so helps, and for me the best way is a Contigo Water bottle. (I love the auto seal) - the large easy open spout makes it simple to drink lots at a time. Drink three of these bottles a day and you've met the general quota for most people -- eight 8oz glasses. My family owns six of these bottles we love them so much!


Writing is my escape (most of the time, sometime it's work) but I'm excited to start working on my novel again, to type out some short stories and to just enjoy the time I spend blogging. Oh and by the way you are now reading the words of the new Blogmaster for the Kamloops IAG or Interior Authors Group. So expect to see some changes on that blog soon. I'm really looking forward to it and I'm excited to be a part of the Board and all that it entails. Our next meeting is on Nov 7th and it's all about Formatting Your Book for Self-publishing and Conversion for E-book Publication. We meet at 6:30pm in the Tricia Sellmer Studio in the Kamloops Art Gallery -- which is located at the corner of Victoria Street and 5th Ave in downtown Kamloops.

As for my personal blogs I will continue to post book reviews staring next week and will be emailing prospective authors for reviews in the next couple of days. First post back up will be this Friday and the Lasera blog will have an awesome post on Monday called Don't Have Stupid Characters. :D (UPDATE: view that post here)
Also sometime in November there'll be some more info going up about a great little project I'm working on. Stay tuned to find out!

Cheers!


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Blasts From The Past

We all know that blogs we like have great content but sometimes there are quite a few hidden gems in the archives. So starting now, today and then the first Saturday of every month I'm going to be posting
some 'Blasts From the Past' and link and post some older posts I've written. Enjoy!

So today's all about honing our writing craft, being in awe of Hermoine again, and exploring the crazy workings of a writer's mind. :D

3 Way to Hone Your Writing Craft & How I Did It (for like 0$)
- I really liked writing this one and there are lots of other authors out there like me who have next to nothing in their budget to learn more about writing

Why Hermione is Amazing!
- I'm the biggest fan of all things Harry Potter, but Hermione is someone I adore all on her own. She's fiesty, she's smart and she loves books!

The Strange Workings and Writings of a Mind that Skips Too Far Ahead of Itself
 - Enjoy the weird inner babblings of an author's mind



Check out today's post on Lasera: Discover Them Over Again



Cheers!


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Best YouTube Video EVER