I’m nominated

Christopher of Christopher’s Fashion has nominated me and my blog for the versatile blogger award.

Considering I haven’t touched this blog in probably over a year, this has driven me to post… today anyway.

Basically, you thank blogger who nominated you, list 7 facts about yourself, and then nominate 15 other Versatile Bloggers who you adore.

I don’t even think I read 15 blogs. So I don’t know about passing it along, but I sure will point you all to a few blogs I think are great. (needless to say go check out Christopher’s fashion blog)

K blogs/ youtube channels I check out regularly
Dawn Meehan Blogger and Mum of 6 brilliant kids.
Nikki Tutorials Nikki is Dutch and so much fun.
Vintage Or Tacky Cora is a talented and stunning woman.
Sprinkle of Glitter Louise inspires me.
All I know now Carry lives her dreams and works hard.
Viva Glam Lana Makes my day, every time she posts (usually on youtube)

Now for the facts…..

#1- I love rainy days. (though walking to work in the rain is a little poopie)

#2- I’d never met a celebrity before 2007.

#3- I reaaaaaallly wanna own a dog, as well as my cats. However we live in an area where there are so many barky dogs, we’d never have any peace and quiet if we got one.

#4- I can’t wait for the kiddo to start Food Tech in High School so I don’t have to cook ever night of the week.

#5- I freaking HATE maths, and both my previous and current jobs require me to not ignore my mathematics skills.

#6- My entire house is a mess. The reason hubby decided to agree to me participating in the cook club with Mandy, was so the kitchen would be cleaned at least once a month.

#7- I spend waaaaay too much time on youtube.

My Seven Steps to Have a Happier Day

My friend is currently down a deep dark hole called depression and I risk her wrath by making this public, because she is in the stage of feeling at a complete loss as to how to dig her way out.

She’s frustrated and I can relate, because everyone who knows and loves her would dearly love to be able to wave the magic wand and be able to take her black mood away. However the hardest thing about depression is you can only change yourself. Nobody can do it for you, or to you.

Only you hold the key to your own happiness.

I have been searching the web and have found some cheap ways that may help anyone get through the day and hopefully bring a smile to a face or two.

To my friend who is most likely glaring angrily out at me from her pit of despair. Please try these things before making any excuses (or as you call them, reasons) as to why it is completely impossible to do any of the following. This comes from a place of love. You matter enough to me to do this. 

 

#1 Get up out of bed. Nothing can change for the better from bed. It is the first decision we all have to make each day, and it’s especially difficult for people with depression. If you do it early enough in the morning to watch the sun rise you’ll be getting your first burst of natural light for the day, this will help with setting your body clock over time.

One of the largest studies on the use of light to treat clinical depression was published in 1992 in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Kripke administered light treatment to 25 depressed hospitalised patients at a VA hospital.

Patients who were exposed to natural white light were significantly less depressed than those in artificial light.”

 

#2 Take a walk, get some fresh air. You need to let your brain have some time in standby mode, and walking through the world just observing what is going on around you can help with this.

~In Europe, doctors prescribe exercise for their depression patients. I think the best is a combination of exercise and getting out in nature … along with giving your body and mind enough time of mindless walking to let the true feelings and thoughts rise to the surface. You will also see that nature has cycles, too — there are times of joy and times of hibernation. Allow your body and soul to sync with nature and you’ll automatically feel a bit better. ~

 

#3 Get a little sunshine. Vitamin D from the sun (rather than from pills) can help your body function better.

 

#4 Gardening (again with the outdoor activity) but even a cheap pot with some potting mix in it can work. Occasionally vegetable seeds can be bought quite cheaply or cultivated from produce you buy at the shops. Try things that can give you high levels of vitamin C like capsicum and tomatoes. Buying fresh veggies can be quite expensive so growing your own can be a way to save some money and feel accomplished at the same time.

As quoted by Julie Myerson

Gardening has shaken me up and slowed me down. It’s the only activity I can still do when I’m worried or angry or sad. Tending a garden is a meditative, humbling experience: you can’t force anything, you just have to wait. And yet every time you put something in the ground, it feels like a pronouncement of faith in the future – or at least in the next few months.”

#5 Eating better can help your body chemistry become more stable. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods as much as possible. Lentils and beans can be a cost effective replacement for meat, while helping you with iron levels. Grow your own food to gain the maximum nutrients from fruits and veggies.

 

#6 Laugh. It costs nothing, and makes you feel better.

 

#7 Help someone in need. Quite often depression can cause us to lose perspective and become quite self centred. We may be too busy mentally berating ourselves over personal failures to notice someone else in need. Observe others, and remember, even helping with small things can make both you and the person you’ve helped feel better.

Sources

http://www.viva-lite.us/blog/health-happiness-and-sunlight-closely-linked/

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/11-ways-to-beat-depression-naturally

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/mar/26/gardening-secret-of-happiness-julie-myerson

 

In the immortal words of that large corporation

No seriously, The Night Creatures REALLY will take over the world

Now my last post had cover reveals that were quite pretty, and HEAPS of work went into them, and the people at Austin Design Works should be congratulated for their champion effort.

Their cover art will now be used for e releases and prequels to the night creatures stories.

After some serious deliberation, some major discussion and a deal that will most likely propel the night creatures book into the stratosphere;  Jarek Kubicki has agreed to rework the covers only a little to allow for his lusciously rich artwork to remain the faces of these books.

And then there is the added squeeeeeeee that is the song Angel Arias, written and performed by Her Royal Madness herself,Yunyu.

If you’d like a bit of a taste of how on the mark this song is here’s a youtube clip that will give you goosebumps.

We’re now cooking with gas. I sincerely hope you’ll go find these books on Amazon and if you’re not in the mood for physical copies and owning a small piece of the artworks of Mr. Kubicki (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU), you’ll be able to download copies of all three books in e book.

Life is beautiful today. I am so proud to be able to give you this information… and remember to share the love.

You can also go read blogs, book reviews and other randomisity I’ve contributed to www.burnbright.com.au . Our team works hard to bring you some pretty awesome stuff… but when you see the foundation we’re working from, you can understand why we love doing what we’re doing.

February… over half way over.

This has been such a full month already.

  • I started a job ~my first ever~ for Sensible Health and Mobility Initiatives… Linked above.
  • The job is also a traineeship for a Business Administration Cert III (no idea what happened to I and II) I’m waiting for my books to turn up since I opted out of doing it online… argh my eyes.

I’ve been filing, spread sheeting, typing up letters, invoicing (under supervision), website reshuffling, scooter servicing (under strict supervision), filling orders for first aid kits, restocking first aid kits, mailing, deliveries, taking photos, and making coffee.  I’m sure there’s other stuff too, but the best bit is I’m rarely standing still. Goes by in a blur and I haven’t felt the need to look at my watch.

  • We’ve started Friday Ketchup again for 2013… in March we will officially begin our third season.
  • I’ve entered a couple of my photos into the Sunday Mail Summer of Photography competition.  Haven’t heard anything back from them but it took courage to take the leap and submit.
  • Managed to get my February Aussie spec fiction book read (Keri Arthur woohoo!)
  • Vision Writers was a roaring success this month. It makes me so excited for the rest of the year.
  • Kiddo has been asked to try out for the district netball team… this blew me away. We’ll have to have a family discussion about the possibilities of this happening, but I would love for her to experience something like this.

Things that make me smile this month.

News that The Night Creatures Trilogy by Marianne de Pierres is to be published world wide.

News that Diamond Eyes by Anita Bell is to be made into a movie. 

News that family members are achieving great marks for hard work.

Finding this for hubby’s Valentine’s gift

Kiss(es)

And the kiddo liked the look of this sweet little plant

And Love

There have been a few not so nice things to happen recently, but I want to keep my focus on the positive. Share the happiness and hope that what I put out, people feel they should pass along and pay it forward. Even if it’s sharing a smile with a stranger or wishing your bus driver a nice day.

 

What is making you smile this month?

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 910 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How 2012 stacks up.

~ I want to read 80 books this year. 12 of which to be Aussie. Reviewing as many as possible.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Belinda. has
completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2012!
hide

So I managed to get one goal for 2012 done. Equating to 28286 pages read. Longest book was Aurora Teagarden Omnibus 2 with 712 Pages.

~ I want to do at least 12 video blogs/ reviews or tutorials this year.

No luck on this one. I think I got half way there. *shrug* I tried.

~ I want to be the best president I can be for the Vision Writers group.

I measure my success by the number of constant members and the number of people who turned up at the December gathering. Yep we made it above an average of 5 people each month and we had 5 at the end of year gathering.
Two things off the list.

~ I want to find a part time paid job.

No luck in 2012 for this one but stay tuned for possible news in 2013. Cross everything for me. No SERIOUSLY!

~ I want to aim for $500 for my fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Australia this year.

No Such luck. Bit of a suck really. I’m really not sure what the heck is going on within the ranks of Ovarian Cancer Australia, but I miss Helen.

~ I want to get my creative memories program back up and running so I can resume making pretty digital scrap booking pictures.

YEP!! I got this one done. *then had to have my laptop’s brains replaced so I have to pull it off the portable hard drive and hope it lands intact.*
Three things achieved.

~ I want to be in print again this year.

No print this year, but who knows what will happen as we head into 2013.

~ A 100 word a day base level again. (between blogs, reviews, or story writing)

I meant to see if I got this far but I am pretty sure my slacking off in November and December means a no win on this one.

~ I want to be more social.

Not quite. However I am getting slightly better at remembering names.

~Again trying to keep the housework under control.

I can see the table top and the counter tops and the floor. I think that’s a win. Right?

All up 4 things marked off the list for 2012.

I’ll have to do some serious thinking for what I want to achieve for 2013.

Love to you all and lets look forward to an exciting new year!

Just leave it.

According to Travelodge in the UK, this is the Books left behind Top 20 for 2012
20. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy John Le Carre

19. The Confession John Grisham
18. StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath
17. Room Emma Donoghue
16. The Fry Chronicles Stephen Fry
15. The Brightest Star In The Sky Marian Keyes
14. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
13. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Steve Jobs
12. A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
11. One Day David Nicholls
10. The Help Kathryn Stockett
9. Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
8. Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
7. Fifty Shades Darker E.L. James
6. The Girl Who Played With Fire Stieg Larsson
5. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
4. Fifty Shades Freed E.L. James
3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest Stieg Larsson
2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
1. Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James Yep, I’d believe this.

And just because I can, here is my list of

20 Erotica books that are better than 50 Shades of Grey…..

20 – Switching Hands (Black Lace Series) by Alaine Hood

19 – Continuum (Black Lace Series) by Portia Da Costa
18 – Black Lipstick Kisses (Black Lace Series) by Monica Belle
17 – Bedtime Stories Volume 2: A Celebration Of Australian Erotica by Various Authors
16 – Perfect for the Beach by Various Authors
 15 – Exit to Eden by Anne Rampling
14 – Story of O by Pauline Réage
13 – Shadowfae (The Shadowfae Chronicles, #1) by Erica Hayes
12 – Belinda by Anne Rampling
11 – Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
10 – Seduced by Moonlight (Merry Gentry #3) by Laurell K. Hamilton
 9 – Lipstick by Amy Valenti
8 – Bad Boys To Go by Various Authors
7 – Cooking up a Storm (Black Lace Series) by Emma Holly
6 – Men at Work by Various Authors
5 – Wicked Nights (Castle of Dark Dreams #1) by Nina Bangs
4 – Night Play (Were-Hunter #3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
3 – Beauty’s Release (Sleeping Beauty #3) by A.N. Roquelaure
2 – Beauty’s Punishment (Sleeping Beauty #2) by A.N. Roquelaure
1 – The Claiming Of Sleeping Beauty (Sleeping Beauty #1) by A.N. Roquelaure
Please note I haven’t gone heavy on the ‘romance’ and I have missed SOOOOO many authors. Main thing is pretty much ANY book that contains a sex scene is better than 50 Shades of (bleeping) Grey so once you’ve finished with that utter shit… give these books a go.
Most of the authors above have many many books on offer, so get googling and get happy.

The last few months at a glance

I haven’t posted one of these in quite a while and thought I had better catch up a little.

We’ve been averaging 7 attendees at the Vision meetings and there have been 2 instances over the last few months where we’ve been booted out of our room at the Queensland State Library with very little notice and it was through the brilliance of the Brisbane Square Library that we were able to go ahead with our meetings.

I have written 12385 words since the last blog. Most of those were for the burn bright website.

I have read, as of May, 34 more books. Which is a total of  81 books. I’m happy to meet that resolution.

On my review TBR pile I have

  1. Dollhouse in Ebook by Anya Allyn
  2. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
  3. All These Things I’ve done by Gabrielle Zevin
  4. A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
  5. The Blind Goddess by Anne Holt
  6. The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington
  7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  8. Tangle of need by Nalini Singh

And on order for review are
Undeadly by Michele Vail

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

For my own personal reading *and perhaps review*

Roil and Night’s Engines by Trent Jamieson

Exile and Sactuary by Rowena Cory Daniells

This doesn’t even include the other books I should catch up on like the last Laurell K Hamilton.

To get through these books I have been endeavouring to up my pages read per day count to 150 rather than 100.

Wish me luck.

Oh and the biggest and coolest things to happen to me since the last at a glance blog were getting to meet the two wonderful authors Isobelle Carmody and Charlaine Harris.

A little bragging photographic evidence

Life is a wonderful thing, even through colds and migraines and dealing with day to day life.

Though we haven’t had a regular few weeks. With the kiddo winning the first prize in a Japanese Speaking competition against 3 other schools, and her coming second in the district for high jump in her age bracket, I was walking on air.

I can not believe my little girl is officially 11 years old as of last week, and the day before her birthday was competing in the regional athletics carnival. She feels like she didn’t do so well, but I remind her when she is in a moment of self doubt, she was one of only 2 untrained girls in her age bracket at this level of competition. The fact that she’s made it this far makes her a champion in my opinion. She was the ONLY girl from her district high jump competition to even compete at the regionals. I was a really proud Mum.

And my latest tutorial is up on Marianne’s Ewtube channel

9 Months into the year and well on the way to the end of the 2012.

The future is shining bright. *wink*

‘Cause I can.

K I thought for a little longer and here are some of my answers to altering the 50 books you can’t put down for the 2012 Get Reading campaign

This one is Crime Fiction.

This one is called True North: The Story of Mary and Elizabeth Durack

By Brenda Niall

And this one is a tad biographical.

That’s 3 books by women in a matter of moments. If I had a little longer I could probably make a list of 50 books you can’t put down ALL written by Female Aussie Authors.

What Aussie authors would you like to see on the books you can’t put down list in future???

The campaign to Get Reading!

For those of us who LOVE reading, the Get Reading campaign has begun in Australia and will run until September 30th. This year all 50 books on the recommended reading list are Aussie authors. LINK!

After the hard facts Tara Moss put forward in her blog about gender inequality in the literary industry and since then Jane Sullivan’s article on A Woman’s Place in the publsihing industry, I wanted to break down this year’s list of books, and see just where we stood as a nation when it came to this year’s industry recommendations versus gender equality.

I made pie charts. YAY ME!

So lets look at the break down of what genre’s are on offer in 2012.

Now let us look at some of these segments a little closer.

This is the break down of Fiction. That is 7/12 in favour of Women.

Alright lets look at Romance, not that this should shock anyone.

*shrug* this was to be expected, but it would have been nice to have at least one guy here.

Now for a chart that had me scratching my head and wondering if women’s REAL voices are being ignored. I give you the chart for Biography Memoir.

Notice there are no biographies exclusively written by women on this chart ANYWHERE. Co-Authoring, sure; but I am POSITIVE there were more than 2 brilliant biographies written by women in the last 8 months.

Okay now we go to the all round gender gap for this year’s Get Reading campaign.

24 Men. 23 Women and 3 co-authorships.

Not terrible, but when you think about women being represented more for their fictional tale telling rather than their truth telling, I have to ask myself, “What’s up with that?”

There were no women with books in the Non-Fiction section, and it was 50/50 in Fantasy Fiction, Crime Fiction, Children’s Fiction and a notable 3 way tie in Children’s Picture books.

How do these stats make you feel?

Does it make you think men aren’t romantically inclined?

Does it make you think that men’s stories of survival and successes are more important than those of women’s?

Do you think this list is geared more towards getting men, or women interested in picking up a book?

Most importantly, does any of this make you want to go out there and BUY A BOOK????

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