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.



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 . 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


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?

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*

April at a Glance

April was a month of so many moments I hope to remember right into my senile years. (Oh hush, I’m not there yet)

Vision was forced to make a quick change of venue due to some maintenance work on the room we’re usually in. Thank the powers that be for the Brisbane Square Library for allowing me to bend the rules a little and allowing us to crash there. It was wonderful to have as many people turn up that did on such short notice.

I attended the wedding of the last kid I used to baby-sit. The sisters and both families did an amazing job working together to make the day magical. I loved every minute and was proud to loan them the kiddo to stand up there with them to make the day feel like it had come full circle.

Bless their hearts. May their married lives be prosperous and filled with happiness and joy.

Kiddo was picked to participate in an advanced creative writing program through the school. The Author who’s mentoring the kids this time around is Deborah Abela. Her book Grimsdon is on the readers cup list for this year and the kiddo managed to get through the last half of the book in a couple of days. She just wishes she didn’t have to wait another 6 weeks or so to get into it.

I’ve been keeping up with the reading, and found that not every book written about Australia makes me want to cringe.

Another 6 books under my belt brings the count for the year so far at 35.

No tutorials this month but there should be at least 1 next month.

The weather has been beautiful and showers cleared when they should.

May will have Hubby’s birthday, Mother’s day, vision back in it’s usual place and more review books.

5 Months into the year and so far it has been great.

Bring on winter!!!

March at a glance

March was packed full of stuff for each member of my family.

We had a great turn out for the Vision Writers meeting. The submitted stories were amazing.

Hubby went to Melbourne for the F1 GP.

Here are a couple of pics he took.

Hubby's picture of the Melbourne F1 track.

Then there was the Kiddo going on camp on the same day. Apparently $185 doesn’t buy them hot showers. *roll my eyes*

After they both got home and we were back into a routine I stepped out on my own for the Evanescance concert on the 26th. (yes a Monday night gig… weird)

Tuesday of the same week we had parent teacher interviews to get a progress report on the kiddo’s achievement levels in school. She’s doing enough to make me very happy.

Friday she found out she had been selected for the school’s Readers Cup team. I’m just so proud.

Then also on Friday the 30th I went in for an Australian Society of Authors Event… I managed to miss the showers that had washed the city clean, but got these beautiful pictures when walking to and from the Northern banks of the river.

My average word count for the month is 120 words per day, and the year so far word count is at an average of 114 words per day.

I read 11 books this month and the count for the year so far sits at 29 books out of the goal of 80.

Hubby bought me 4 books whilst in Melbourne, one of which is an Omnibus of 4 Amelia Atwater-Rhodes stories.

Review books come before my personal TBR pile and April is looking to be a big month for brilliant reviews.

Can not wait!

February at a glance

My word count minus the story writing is sitting at about 89 words per day for the months of January and February. Falling a little behind, but a new blog series starting this month is on the boil for Burn Bright and some over due book reviews will help bring it back up.

I have read 4 books this past month bringing the total so far this year to 18, only 62 to go over 10 months.

I managed to push the tutorial number to 5 for the year so there are only 8 to go to reach the goal.

Hubby and I have been married 8 years and together for 12 as of February.

Together with the help of friends and family I managed to raise $136 for Ovarian Cancer Australia on the 25th of February.

The Vision Writers meeting had 5 submissions and 2 newcomers among the 8 of us that attended.

Friday Ketchup is back on the air and we’re now on podomatic so you have 6 weeks to go back and listen to the last few weeks worth of shows.

March is due to be equally amazing!

The year that was 2011

I can not believe this is the last hours of 2011. I am completely stumped as to how this year got past me so quickly.


The floods across Queensland started and caused Mum’s knee replacement to be rescheduled.

Hubby and I trekked into Ipswich to help with the clean up for 2 days straight. It was extremely exhausting.

We helped my cousin and his family move house, though they did the brunt of the work.


The kiddo started flute lessons through the school’s instrumental music program.

Helped the fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Awareness by getting a make over by Napoleon Perdis and the same evening we went to the Belinda Carlisle concert. A wonderful evening; even if I was wearing more make-up than the drag queen behind us.


The first ever Friday Ketchup Program was sent out onto the airwaves. It sucked, but I had fun.

My Aunt and I held our first ever fundraiser for Ovaran Cancer Awareness. Raising in total from raffle ticket sales, jewellery and card sales and a percentage from sales of the Creative memories party added up to a nice $258. I was proud.


Earthquakes making Mackay a little wobbly


Mother’s day weekend saw my Dad’s side of the family and us at a table together. Baa Baa black sheep.

Kiddo did really well in the sports day events.


I was invited to take photos at the first ever smoking ceremony to be undertaken in a Queensland State School. Amazing.

We saw Borders Close their doors.


Hubby and I went to the Abbey Tournament and had a blast… even with the cannons.

We also managed to find ourselves at Motorfest at Eaglefarm raceway.


We all managed to get a cold.

Police made a HUGE break through on the Daniel Morcombe case. Brilliant, but sad.

I went to the Hen’s night of one of the kids I used to baby-sit. She’s all grown up and it makes me feel old. Not quite as old as backing up that evening with an event at logan north library.

Needless to say I got home and crashed, and it wasn’t until a few days later that I discovered that my review piece for Quillblade by Ben Chandler has been used for the online rundown of the book on the Random House website and a snippet of it is on the back of Beast Child by Ben Chandler. I SWEAR it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.


My kiddo turned 10. More feeling old but I received Angel Arias by Marianne de Pierres in the mail and found I’m in the acknowledgements. FANTASTIC!!!

That kid I used to Baby-sit got Married. Back to feeling OLD… oh dear.

I won a chance to become a part of an art installation… it was loads of fun.


Was all about the reading. I went crazy, but in a good way… I think.

I struggled through migraines and  an enriching day at the Islamic Women’s Association.

The friend of mine that was Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer 20 months ago passed away. Shock and sadness made life a little tense, though I had a visit from my Dad to lighten things up a little. She was to turn 51 in December.


I read the book Pure by Julianna Baggott and I can not understand how the publishers see the book as a Young Adult book. They will be making it into a movie in 2012. The book is well written but left me with nightmares.

Police officially close the search for the remains of Daniel Morcombe. How tragic the family didn’t up with all of their son to lay to rest. I am sure the SES didn’t agree to the closure of searching.

I was also elected as the President of the Vision Writers Group.


I’ve had fun and laughs. Life is good.

I spent the month refilling my internal wells. Doing things that make me smile.

For the last 12 months I have enjoyed myself immensely and learned a little along the way.

People grieve in different ways, but it is always good to find someone who does it the same way you do so you can bitch about how everyone else is doing it wrong… and then move on.

If you don’t take the time to smell the roses, they will just wither and die on the bush. Sure it bloomed; but it did it in vein if you didn’t marvel at it’s beauty or take joy in it’s scent.

There is nothing quite like getting free books in the mail.

New Years Resolution Wrap up for 2011

It’s been MONTHS since I blogged. Seriously MONTHS.

I’d like to update you all on my resolutions from 2011

  • Read at least 1 book a week at least 52 a year and 12 have to be Aussie authors

DONE!! Seriously happy with this one. I am on book 77 for the year and the best bit is, because of the reviewing gig, I didn’t have to pay for them all. YAY!!

  • Make at least one piece of jewelry a week again at least 52 a year.

Nope. Don’t think it’s gonna happen next year either

  • Keep the housework under control

Nope again. But it’s not a complete shambles.

  • Write at least 100 words a day (A total of 36500 if I can do it)

I stopped counting in June and it wasn’t looking good. If i get energetic in the new year I might actually figure out if I made it or not. At the moment I think not.

  • Put a story in each month for Vision Writers (10 short stories)

Nope. Not even one.

  • Get at least 1 rejection letter (for my writing)

No rejection letter but I was included by name on the reviews on the back of BEAST CHILD by Ben Chandler and I’m included by name in the acknowledgements in ANGEL ARIAS by Marianne de Pierres this year. That is more than a success in my opinion.

  • Raise $1000 for Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

I think it ended up being under $300. The friend that had Ovarian cancer died on October 29th 2011. Next year I hope to do better.

  • Plant more sweet basil.

Bought the pot, the seeds and all… still haven’t done it. Though I have 24 hours or so. Maybe I’ll make it yet.

  • Hand write more letters send them as well.

I made cards. They had letters in them.

  • Save money update my wardrobe.

I saved a little and rewarded myself with a brand new steel boned Corset by Christine Woods bought from Voodoo Lulu in Fortitude Valley.

In the next few days I will reflect on 2011 from my point of view.

This year as far as my, resolutions go, have been mildly successful. I have grown to know myself a little better, and I like who I am becoming.

I don’t know what 2012 will bring but I have hope that it will be an even better year than 2011.

It’s been a card making month

I’ve had cards coming out my ears in the last few months. Between thank you, thinking of you, birthday and condolence cards. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the thank you cards but the other three I did. I thought I would share them with you.

Keep in mind they’re hand made, and therefore are imperfect. I am sure that the people I gave them to loved them.

This one was the Birthday card for my most fabulous co hostess.

Then we have the thinking of you card I made for one of my fellow staff members of Burn Bright.

Then there is the card that I will be posting this afternoon, and one I wouldn’t have to make for a long while yet. The condolence card for my former boss.

And the inside of the card…

I bought a bunch of new papers today so I’m going to be having a little fun in the coming months when it comes to card stuff.

I’ll probably be doing a video tutorial  or 2 for burn bright on how to make similar cards in the near future.

Have a great end to the week!!!

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