It’s been far too long since I posted…

And by that, I mean, do I go back and delete the old stuff? Do I reinvent myself as a failed blogger? One who habitually starts a blog, gets uber excited and then fails miserably at keeping a regular timetable? I was thinking of this yesterday as I watched people who had made Youtube sensations of themselves by doing simple things like reviewing makeup products, or baking simple recipes at home. One couple had a joint show, and seperately the wife had a cooking show and a style show. She even had a PR person. I mean, you get big enough from youtube videos and you need your own PR person? This is what I love. People being given the opportunity to showcase their talents and actually make a living out of it, one that isn’t mired by corporate agendas.

Anyway, I’m thinking I need to do something like this. I’m thinking I need to keep thinking.

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When writers don’t have block…

I cannot believe this. I’ve been writing a story of sorts, a concoction of ideas, characters, story lines that have just erupted in my head. Nothing specific, no particular theme, but as I kept writing and as I kept putting these ideas down different scenarios came to me, and so I kept writing. I wrote about 72 pages worth of this idea, and was really quite happy with the way it progressed. Suddenly today, I open the app to continue working on it and I have lost over 35 pages of my story. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or simply throw my ipad through the window…

And mind you it wasn’t even a matter of exporting it to drop box or email because every time I tried it would crash the app…

I don’t know if I have the will to re-write those 35+ pages again….I don’t know if I can…

Mid year update – 2013

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Ok Ok, so I know I have been slack! Bad me!

I’ve recently been working on an additional blog to separately document my progress with a laproscopic sleeve gastrectomy I had July 16. For info and reading on this episode of my life, go here.

Other than that I am waiting eagerly for information on my graduation ceremony which is due in September.

I will be looking through some of the post topic ideas on WordPress for some new material for this blog. I have just been so busy with recovery and working on the other blog that I temporarily neglected this one, but fear not – I have a few more days of leave to get the creative juices flowing!

Pix xx

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words

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Photo courtesy of Michelle Weber.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/weekly-writing-challenge-1000-words-three/

Scenario: Two chefs in a darkened kitchen, hurrying to prepare a meal. The meal looks foreign, exotic, perhaps French, or fusion cuisine. Despite the calculated calm on their faces, they’re actually preparing a meal for Jesus. They know that in a very short space of time, all of the world’s greatest leaders will be sitting down to supper with Jesus, in an attempt to save the world from Armageddon.

Soon after, they hear the loud thuds of a stampede of people in the near distance. The auditorium they’re in is grotesque in size – in fact, the United Nations General Assembly is a dwarf in comparison. The location is secret; and all the chefs remember about that day, the day they were told they were cooking for Jesus was that they needed to do everything in their hearts possible to create the most sumptuous and delectable dish imaginable, as Jesus was coming to Earth for a very important meeting. They told him to cook like he’s cooking for all the world’s Head of State in one go; and to leave nothing to chance.

The chefs, in preparation for the special day, spent the weeks prior in preparation for the event by sourcing the best and most wholesome raw materials from all over the world. NO expense was spared. They hired the most professional colleagues of every culinary profession to work alongside them to create this amazing meal in an attempt to wow Jesus’ taste buds to ensure that whatever decision he made was somewhat less impending and doom-like as Armageddon was. They slept in shifts, and barely saw true sunlight in the days leading up to Supper because they were working so hard. Some of the chefs developed blisters on their feet and hands from having to be on their feet all day and repeatedly cut and slice and dice the food for Supper. Some were so tired that they fell asleep during their meal breaks; whilst others merely struggled on, counting the minutes until the Supper ended so they could go home and relax.

The stampeding sounds began to subside and the chefs could hear an eerie calm envelope the building. It was almost as if the mood changed, it got a little warmer, and the air shifted slightly. Other chefs in the kitchen began to finger their collars, trying to get the heat out of their suits, while others looked around haggardly trying to work out what this weird phenomenon was. The eerie silence bought with it a hint of uncertainty…”was Jesus here?” they wondered, or was this something else.

Breaking them out of their moment, in barged Eli, the stout New Yorker who walked like Danny DeVito and had a sharp tongue. “Quickly,” he rallied, “He’s here….get ready to plate up!” And with that, a fever pitch arose and emanated throughout the kitchen. Suddenly, the stampeding sounds of moments ago turned into the clang of knives and plates and people hollering at the top of their lungs. The chefs were hurriedly working on their plates like a production line, with some of them plating and others wiping and adding garnish. The eruption of activity in the kitchen was immediate, and felt as if the few weeks preparation in the lead up to Supper was at its boiling point. Waiters were doing last minute presses on their aprons and fixing their bows and ties. Chefs were finalizing everything from steaks and beef cheeks to croquembouche and Clafoutis and fresh Vanilla Bean ice-cream. Out in the auditorium, the last of the cutlery was being placed and plates were being straightened. A Maitre’D was checking the fog on the glasses and primping the flowers. Each table was decked in crisp white linen with silver cutlery, trimmed in gold and small rubies. The center-piece was an arrangement of Japanese and white lillies, arranged low and wide on mellow platters of clovers and something that looked oddly like plush cloud. The plush cloud was swirling with the most beautiful golden colors and what looked like small floating glitter as it traversed along the platter and around the flowers. The tables were two, rectangular, and ran opposite one another so that people could speak. The inner section of the tables were opened and not seated so that waiters could bring out food and platters. The room was decorated in white again, but with the subtlest hint of royal purple that seemed to only reflect in certain light.

And just as quickly as it started, the fever pitch stopped. All of the waiters stood in a perfect line, like a well oiled machine with their trolleys placed in front of them and their wide array of dishes placed neatly on its rows. Not one single hair was out of place, not one smudged eye liner, nothing. Eli came back through the double sided doors, his face red and flustered as he awaited the next command. This was it. The moment was finally here.

And then, with the brightest of lights and the blinding of the room, in walked Jesus, although, no-one could see anything as his presence was of a magnificence never seen in the world before. He wasn’t alone, and as the blinding light died down, the room started gasping as they saw who came with him. Not only was it a Supper with Jesus, but he came with all the major heads of all the religions in the world at his side. As he walked down the auditorium causeway toward the table, he was greeted by a specifically selected group of Elders from each of the worlds religions, who stood in awe of not only his magnitude, but the magnitude of what was happening before them.

“Come,” he said, “We need to talk…”

***Writers note: I find it interesting that I diverted to this topic because I am not an overly religious person at all. In fact, I find that as I wrote this the idea just came to me, so I ran with it. I actually enjoyed it, and I hope you all do too!***

Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap – Paris

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What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

guile93.deviantart.com Every-time I think of Paris I think of food. Not just any food, but pastries, and fromage, and good wine, and saucisson! I think my fascination with Paris stems from childhood. My family, whilst not French, are very much engrossed in their Eastern Europeaness, but my grandfather, always the intellectual and an artist in his own right, crafted an Eiffel Tower sculpture when they first moved to Australia.

We have a picture somewhere of him in the throes of his ever-flowing creativity at the time he was making the piece and it always brings me memories of my childhood.

Fast forward to now, and I think my fascination really blossomed when I saw the tail end of an Australian show called “Food Safari”, only this one was specifically “Italian Food Safari on SBS. I think they were making cannoli and so I was salivating at the sight. During the ad break they announced the next series, ‘French Food Safari” and whilst I’d always assumed French food was merely escargot and croissants, I was excited when I saw the images flash by of whole, organic, traditionally made foods, with no skimping. The desserts looked delectable, and not family sized servings, but these petite, well crafted sculptures, kind of like my grandfather’s Eiffel. They used butter, lots of butter! Their chooks were allowed to roam free, and their sauccison-sec was preservative free.

www.souvenirparis.com To say I was excited was an understatement.

I watched that series 3 times…twice on SBS, and once when I showed my partner the saucisson episode and the one with Clafoutis. I was in heaven. I finally found my niche. After that, all I wanted was to embrace being a Francophile. I wanted to eat French food all the time, and not just because it was utterly amazing, but because I felt that it linked to me somehow, to my soul. Maybe it was a subconscious connection made to all things French as a result of my grandfather’s sculpture, or maybe it was the fact that they ate food normally, without all this low fat, high fat, high sugar, low sugar, low gi, low this that the other and everything else….they produced their foods traditionally and they were very intent on maintaining their way of life a particular way. The food had a certain heartiness and simplicity about it, almost a peasant-ness in its taste, its presentation and its goodness.

Soon, my Francophilicism (if that is even a word!) spread to my partner, and we were determined to move to the French countryside, and live in a beautiful cottage on a farm…much like we do now.

australianperfumejunkies.com I think for me, going to Paris would be the ultimate. It’s not just about the food, it’s the history. It’s the pinnacle of liberalism as a political ideology, and the result of a people determined to make their lives as amazing as they can. It’s the respect for the environment, life, love, food and family. It’s the violins on the tops of buildings, the sunset on the Champs Elysses, the museums and the culture, and wearing bohemian clothing with a certain element of Chic, it’s Hermes, and Chanel…it’s Lestat lurking in the shadows and Burlesque dancers floating in the crisp air like fairies…

 

Goodreads review: Sylvia Day – Entwined With You – Crossfire #3

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Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3)Entwined with You by Sylvia Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok..

The ending was unexpected. I still don’t know if i like it or not.

Overall the story was excellent – very fast moving, but not so fast that you get lost. I have a feeling Day had a lot more of the story to say. I like the familiar and constant tension and passion, and the sparks between Eva and Gideon. It is characters like these that make you wish men like him were real!

I didn’t like the Brett line…at all. I don’t like Brett in the story, I don’t like his angle. I don’t like him. I kind of hoped that Eva would just tell him to go away, but it’s almost like she’s playing him…like she wants to create the drama that doesn’t need to be there.

Oh, and Eva’s mother….consistently neurotic, as expected. I don’t like how needy she is, and for me it feels like she’s always in the way. I would have liked more development with Gideon’s sister, and maybe even more work on his nightmares because I think that’s a really strong point. Also, the concept of the contract, from the first book essentially, well, it’s almost like it wasn’t even part of the story. I’d love for the story to deviate into a full blown undertaking of the contract, because i think in the concept of things, it may help develop the character of Gideon more. It will elaborate on this ‘dark side” he has. And i know it’s been done a million times already, but I still think you need to establish some kind of point with it.

Overall brilliant read. My cousins and I all got it down the night it released and then spent the early morning hours dissecting it. I love Sylvia’s style and I love her emphasis. There were a couple of overly lovey dovey bits, but sometimes I think you need that, to remind yourself that it is a story, and essentially the writer can do what they like with it.

Hopefully Sylvia gives us more of Gideon and Eva!

***EDIT: Because there was such a break between this book and the last, I found myself taking a while to try and remember some of the key points. In fact, I often found myself going”Who was that again?”…It may be beneficial to have a preamble, or just a quick summary of what happened before, because sometimes I felt lost in the beginning.***

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Goodreads Review: Maya Banks – Fever

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Fever (Breathless, #2)Fever by Maya Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one started off a little slow for me. To be honest I somehow expected it to lead in a little more; as it almost seemed a bit abrupt in its beginning. I like the concept of doing a story on each of them, however I would have preferred a trilogy for each male character and then possible sideline mini series on Caroline and Mia that continued the story after the major things happened? Not sure, but I still loved Fever.

Another thing with the way it started was that there was no discernible ‘spark’ between Jace and Bethany. One minute it was their first meeting and next minute he’s going insane trying to find her over a 2 week period. I just feel that some things were missed, but maybe that’s just me.

I also didn’t really like the way Jace just flew off the handle. It made him seem far more aggressive than he really was, and I don’t think that it’s feasible to say that only with Bethany was he ok when he’d known everyone else for so much longer. I guess what was missing for me was a little bit of character development in terms of why certain things happened, what caused them, etc.

The story overall though was brilliant. Really high energy, passionate and not sleazy. It was like going on a wild ride, with dips and plateaus! But maybe because I expected the story to continue with Mia and Gabe more prominently is what caught me off guard here. I like that the story still continues subtly, and now that you know the “gist” so to speak, you kind of know what to expect for Book 3. I am looking forward to see what happens with Ash.

Definitely an excellent read, and if you’re anything like me you will devour it in one sitting. 🙂

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Goodreads Review: Jaycee Dugard – A Stolen Life

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A Stolen LifeA Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This tugged at my heart strings. It was so incredibly sad, but the resolve of Jaycee and her ability to survive was outstanding. I just think that she is so brave for living what she lived, and surviving to tell her story. She is the same age as I am and yet she has a wealth of world experience, despite her sheltered life. Phillip and Nancy were awful, awful people who should never receive mercy or forgiveness for their actions. To rob a child of their livelihood is an absolute disgrace.

Jaycee often has moments of reflection in the book which allow her to tell you how she felt at that time, or what she was experiencing as she was writing. I think this was therapy for her as much as it was her wanting to tell the world her story. I really would have liked to hear more about the way the therapy with the horses worked out because it was so interesting to see the way that animals were used to help her and her little girls.

A truly amazing book. I cried so many times throughout the book, but because it was real, and it was so terribly sad to think that a person could inflict such things on another person. Jaycee is truly amazing, as is this book. Do not hesitate to read this.

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Goodreads Review: Rush – Maya Banks

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Rush (Breathless, #1)Rush by Maya Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. I only grabbed it because it was on a NY Times bestseller list I had from a couple months back and BANKS’ name rang a bell. I did not put it down once I started. I have read a bit of erotic fiction, and I find that generally they follow the same thing of the dominant wealthy male, whose wealth is no boundary to what he wants in life. I absolutely loved the characters here, because I think it demonstrated the softness that was always a part of them that they never really projected, the men particularly. I found it interesting that the story didn’t get bogged down in the nitty gritty in terms of the physical descriptions of the people, in fact I didn’t even know Mia was a brunette and being a blonde, I kind of imagined her sort of, in my image if you will when I read the book. With other novels, I normally had a very distinct image of who was who in my head, but this one was sort of, make it who you want it to be. On the other end however, I think that is where it lacked slightly, in that the character development was minimal. I would have probably preferred the context of the one book over three, one focusing on Ash, Gabe and Jace, because I think there was a lot to be said for why they behaved a certain way, or what caused them to think certain things. There were a few gaps I felt I was asking questions about the characters. The relationshi between Mia and her friends was also a bit utopian…anyone that stayed away from their friends for that long was bound to get some slack, and I felt that her best friends relationship came up out of the blue. I would have liked maybe a little bit more on Mia and Caroline’s friendship as an alternate.

Brilliant read though, and I went and got the second book immediately after finishing Rush.

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