Sunday, December 30, 2012

Maid in 2012

Can you believe it's almost the end of 2012?

I can't.

These days, the years pass by so quickly, I'm starting to feel, well ... old!

And my body has started to show it too. Not just aesthetically, but physically as well. This year I seemed to battle a host of health problems and all at once. Groan.

There were highs and lows, and the usual rollercoaster that seems to pick us up and carry us along throughout life.

But enough of that.

I choose to relive my favourite moments of 2012, rather than the ewww moments. And the cool moments definitely include my visit to Bangkok and reunion with former highschool friends Ian and Carolyn.

It had been a long time since I'd tumbled out of a cab at 5 am following a drag show ... in fact make that a first time! We had the time of our lives, and as a former tourist I enjoyed rediscovering Bangkok through the eyes of locals.

The kids have been strong and healthy, doing well at school and at home, and were towers of strength whilst I was sick.

We added chihuahua-pomeranian cross Lucy to our menagerie, and she's added much joy (and many poos and wees) to our lives.

Christmas was the usual Down Under Yule in the country, celebrated in the air-conditioning with a swim after lunch for the kids.

This New Year's Eve we are going to be 'chillaxing', whatever that involves, and hoping for a better 2013.

Wishing you and yours a blessed 2013 too. Or at least one that totally rocks.

 
Carolyn and I with the Concierge who escorted us to the lifts after every night out in Bangkok.
 
 
 Shopping at the nearby floatng markets
 
 
At the Ancient City
 
 
 
 Ready for another night out...
 
 Readers, what was the highlight of your year?
 
And happy 2013!
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A very wary Christmas



Is it just me, or is there some weird shit going down at the North Pole this year?
 
 Shit being the operative word ...

Doing the annual Christmas present shop this year, we were confronted by this ...
 

A game called Doggie Doo.
 
Innocently sitting amongst the more traditional games like Scrabble and Hungry Hungry Hippos, on the shelves of K-Mart no less, was a game which entreats players to 'feed, poop and scoop'.
 



 
Missy once had a Baby Alive who 'ate, drank and peed', but this is the first toy I've seen to produce actual poo.
 
I shit you not.


 
We were recovering from the shock of the all-pooping doggie-doo game when Harmonie spotted this unfortunate toy.
 
"Mumma, why is the poor baby in handcuffs?" she asked.
 
Sure enough, the doll appeared to have been shackled to her bath.
 
I had no answer so we moved on.
 
Only to be confronted with this:
 
Santa's head on a stick. A little Middle Ages I would have thought?
 
But no, someone, somewhere had decided it would be perfectly acceptable to jam Santa's head on a light pole, all the better to light up at night to delight small children.
 
 
(Yes, of course we bought one!)
 
I decided the book shop might be a safer bet, but flicking through a guide of fun things to do, we spotted this:

 

 
How To Make a Giant Penis.
 
 
 At least that's what it looked like.
 
It was actually supposed to be a volcano.
 
Now we have made plenty of these home-made volcanos before, and although they are hideously messy and hilarious fun, they have never turned out like this. Nor have we felt moved to jam a carrot next to it, all the better to enhance the resemblance to a part of the male anatomy.
 
After all the excitement, I needed to go home and have a Cup Of Tea and a Good Lie Down.
 
Doesn't anyone make normal presents anymore?
 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Caitlyn Nicholas: Drive Me To Distraction

Today I'm delighted to pop my Guest Post cherry.
Delighful blogger and author Caitlyn Nicholas has dropped by talk about writing, and her latest novel, Drive Me To Distraction.
I'll hand you over to her:
 
Caitlyn Nicholas
My publishing tale…
 
Everyone’s path to publication is different.  Like birth stories. No tale is the same as another, but at the end of it all you usually end up with a baby, or a book.
 
I am not one of those authors who’ve been writing fiction since six years old. I was, however, a prolific letter writer from my teenage years. This morphed into prolific emailing (when :cough: they invented emails), and when I couldn’t keep up with demand, the emails morphed into blogging.
 
I am not a good pregnant person. I throw up. The whole time. All day. Every day.  I do not glow with maternal contentment. Oh no siree.  I am a very sad panda. There came a point when I was about six months along with my second daughter when my husband looked at me, white faced, foul tempered and retching and said something like, “Just go and sit down would you.”
(I’m not very good at sitting down).
And I said (whined), “But what I am going to do sitting down? So boring.”
And he said, “Write a book or something…”
 
So I did.
 
I rewarded myself for getting to Chapter 3 by joining the Romance Writers of Australia.
I then discovered they ran competitions, and set myself the goal of finishing the book and entering a competition.
I entered several competitions, got loads of feedback (which was hard to take because they tore my beloved story to bits). Read Valerie Parv’s The Art of Romance Writing. Read Romance Writing for Dummies. Rewrote the book and submitted it to Mills and Boon/Harlequin.
You could nearly hear the laughter from their London office, and within days I had my very first rejection letter.
So I sulked about that for a while, dusted myself off, found out about guidelines and what different publishers expect, and rewrote the story.
Again.
I knew it was a good story.
Then I submitted it to a start up publishing company in the US called Samhain Publishing.  It was high risk, doomed to failure, and anyway, said pretty much everyone, e-books are just a blip, no one will take them seriously.
But I had a good feeling. E-books made sense to me. So I persisted.
Two weeks later I had a publishing contract.
 
And so the rollercoaster of being a published author began.
 
Drive Me To Distraction is my third full- length novel (I had a bit of a gap between novels 2 and 3 due to being knocked sideways by Post Natal Depression) and it will be published on 1 November.
 
 
I also have a novella, Dark Moon Rising, being published in late December (check my website / blog for the details about that one – I don’t have them yet!)
 
You can find me online at: http://www.caitlynnicholas.com
 
About the Book:
Drive Me To Distraction is fast, fun and full-on. It’s about Alex, a female Formula One racing driver, who’s determined to make it in a man’s world - no matter what the cost to herself or anyone around her. After she makes a deal with the evil Hamish MacCameron she is propelled to stardom, but it quickly becomes clear she is nothing but a pawn in a more sinister high stakes game. Rob Dryden, owner of the Prometheus race team that Alex drives for, isn’t shy about his feelings for Alex. But she has a nasty secret, one that prevents her from having a relationship with Rob, one that no one must ever know about. Which is a pity, especially when it’s leaked to the tabloids and she winds up being the star of an extremely popular YouTube video. Of course Hamish MacCameron is responsible, and she vows to strangle him with her bare hands. Unfortunately for Hamish, someone has already taken care of it, and now she’s the prime suspect with Rob Dryden close behind.
 
Caitlyn is very generously allowing MIA followers a peek at a sample of Drive Me To Distraction here. (Just scroll down to sample and click to read).
 
Enjoy.


 
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

She's back!

I'm back.
I'm home, back with my kids, and out of the surreal world of discomfort, routine, and waiting that is hospital - for me at least. And back to the chaos of feeding small children, struggling to clean house whilst being told to do nothing (bahahahaha ...), and a general feeling of exhaustion.
Never have I valued my own bed more. A cuddle from my kids. The ability to take my medication when I want to take it, and go to bed when I want (within reason), thank you very much.
I'm still in a bit of pain and quite a bit 'loopy' I'm told - now is the time to get me to sign cheques and do deals apparently. But I'm getting stronger every day.
Thanks to everyone who have offered their support.
From my peeps who have commented or tweeted, following my progress: Thank you. Never was the connection with the world provided by the internet more appreciated by me than when I was literally confined to bed after my surgery.
(Although I did send some rather interesting texts and made strange updates. I still cringe from the grammatical errors that slipped through, let alone the made-up words.
Note to self: Do not use internetz whilst recovering from surgery and on mind-meddling drugs.)
Anyway, in the haze that followed I completely forget to announce the winners of the breakfast competition.
Those who won the sexy hamper of Kellogg's goodies are: Kim Maxwell, Leanne Myles, Ang Melting Moments and Amber B. Contact me as soon as you can so I can organise for Kellogg's to send on a hamper of their breakfasty delights.
MIA was inundated with requests for reviews and giveaways whilst recuperating and I've given them a lot of thought whilst admiring the unicorn floating on the ceiling in the corner of the room ... tee hee!
No seriously, as usual I've gone with giveaways from companies I believe in and trust and that I think have products you will love.
So stay tuned for some exciting promotions that will come up as I find a little more energy in every day.
And don't forget to eat breakfast!
Your Mum was right ...
Snigger.