Versatile Blog Award

September 6, 2010 at 5:51 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , )

Tessa Quin has kindly passed on the versatile blogger award to me. Thanks so much Tessa.

The Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers that you think deserve it.
  4. Lastly, contact all of the bloggers that you’ve picked for the award.

So thanks again Tessa and I have included your link.

Seven things about me:

1. I own at least seven different dictionaries (names, mythological characters, etc).

2. I don’t borrow books from the library because I have a hard time returning great stories.

3. I recently started playing netball again, for the first time in five years.

4. I don’t mind spiders unless they are crawling on me.

5. I am trying to learn to speak Japanese – in all that free time that I don’t have.

6. I still own a hula-hoop from when I was seven.

7. I don’t like eating toast.

Passing this on to:

Everyone who is hosting me in the blog tour: Eric, Geoffrey, Lua, Sonya, Alex Willging, Laura, Alex J Cavanaugh, Mason, Carol, Susan, Jemi, Nancy, Lee, Stephen, Barb, Steven, Rosemary, Little Scribbler, and Hart Johnson.

This is a great list of blogs from some of the most supportive bloggers I’ve met. Thanks all of you and congratulations on the award.

Just a reminder, tomorrow I am going to over on Sonya’s blog for my first interview of the tour.

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The Day the Tweets Died

August 2, 2010 at 5:40 am (Author Info, Weekly Review) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Not really. As I mentioned in a comment last week, I managed to finally hit my download limit – all legal of course. That means ridiculously slow internet until the next period which is still about a week away. Which means that twitter is just not working for me at the moment. I can see the top couple of frames, and then it times out an dies. This is also a problem for some of you with really big blogs that have a lot of stars and bells and whistles. Love them usually, at the moment, I can’t actually view them.

What it all really boils down to is I can’t do my coming to a usual round up of tweets concerning excellent blogs I’ve read, not because I haven’t read some excellent blogs, but because without the twitter list telling me where I’ve been, I don’t actually have all the links.

In lieu of having some great links, I thought I would share a few random facts about my blog.

  • Since I started this blog in November last year I’ve had just over 15000 views – though while it doesn’t count me viewing my own blog it will count you every time you visit the site so I’m certain that a lot of those views are from people I know are reading the blog regularly.
  • My worst month was April of this year (not surprisingly) with only 384 views. This could be because I didn’t post during this month due to the flood, power cuts, clean up effort and just being overwhelmed by everything else that was going on. I’m not certain, but I think that would be a good guess.
  • Twitter is my most regular referer and posts that I tweet tend to get more immediate hits than those I don’t – which is tough luck for me at the moment given I can’t tweet.
  • Most people who comment on my blog (in fact nearly all) are people I have visited first.
  • The number one search term to find my blog at the moment is still “reasons why books are better than movies” which makes the post 10 Reasons why books are better than movies and its companion post, 10 Reasons why movies are better than books, two of my most often hit posts from the past.

What did I learn from this?

If you don’t post, people don’t visit. If you don’t tell people you have posted, they won’t visit. If you don’t visit others, they won’t visit. And it really is worth using the tags and categories because sometimes really random google searches find your site.

Sorry for the lack of links, a couple of weeks and they will be back.

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Resolution and an award

July 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm (Author Info, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Stop taking photos. I’ve been sorting through photos for days and still haven’t actually looked at all the photos I took on this holiday. The strange thing is that there are entire stretches where my batteries were flat, I left the camera at the hotel and all manner of reasons why I had half days all throughout the trip where I didn’t have a camera and I still managed to take far too many photos.

The thing that really gets me though is that I don’t actually look at my photos. I have a few up around the house from various trips and times and they are lovely but I don’t go through photo albums or look at any saved pictures. I didn’t when I went to Thailand and I haven’t from any of the holidays I’ve had in Australia, so why do I keep taking photos?

I think it comes down to freezing a moment. If you see something then you’ll remember it but the memory gets hazy quickly. If you see something, line up a photo, frame it and press click you have far more chance of remembering what you saw. Possibly.

I guess the other problem is that most things look better in reality than they ever will in the photo. There are so many other sensations of sound and smell and just the presence of the place that they photo just doesn’t capture. It can’t capture how you felt standing in that place at that time. That’s probably true of any medium. Words don’t capture everything, images don’t, film doesn’t, in the end it is up to us to hold on to the memories.

Okay…

I’ve also been given a lovely blogger award.

Thanks Susie for the award. Here are the rewards.

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. Thanks again Susie!
  2. Share 7 things about yourself. See below.
  3. Pass the award along to 5* bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (*Changed from 15 to 5, but I’ll leave it up to you the amount you want to give.) Also see below.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award. To do…

Seven things about me that you can’t read on my ABOUT page:

1.  I am a collector of some really random things.

2.  When working I listen to music but I don’t listen to entire songs.

3.  I love watching movies over and over again and pulling apart the plots.

4.  When I was in highschool I loved watching SeaQuest but when I bought the first season on DVD I realised I really can’t remember why I liked it.

5.  I don’t like toast but I love the word toast.

6.  I eat when I’m bored.

7.  My favourite colour to write in is green.

As to passing this award along… By the way if you want to know why I’ve given them the award, click on the link and check out these very interesting blogs.

Barbara G Tarn

Mason Canyon

Cat Woods

Alex J Cavanaugh

Elizabeth Spann Craig

Congratulations and thanks for writing such amazing blogs.

I’m hopefully going to be resuming a more normal posting schedule and will be back tomorrow.

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Back

July 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm (Author Info) (, , , , , )

Back from holidays and ready to jump back into work.

Paris and London were amazing and I had a fantastic time running around and seeing everything. I will be putting the pictures up on facebook soonish. What I loved most was how many ideas I came up with while I was travelling. I felt very much re-energised and focused toward writing.

Given I have a few things I need to do very quickly and I have a couple of things to deal with I’m probably only going to post a couple of times this week but I will be back to regular blogging next week and I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone. I really appreciated the comments you all left me while I was away.

Here I am in London, checking out the London Eye.

Incidentally, while I was away I was thinking about my current WIP and I realised what I dislike about it is the narration. So I am backtracking and going from third person back to first but for some reason have decided it is one of my male characters who will make the most interesting narrator for the story. This may all end in tears yet but once I get settled I am going to be rewriting the story from the beginning and seeing where this change takes me.

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Time for a break

June 25, 2010 at 5:37 am (Author Info) (, , , , )

Okay – just letting everyone know that I am going on holidays. Real holiday, not just being denied access from the computer for a week. I’ll be gone for just under two weeks and during that time I’ve scheduled a series of posts that were originally posted onto my blog on blogger – Darkened Jade.

Wishing everyone the best over the next two weeks with their writing and hopefully I’ll be dropping in to check on how everyone is going.

As I’m flying off to Paris let’s just hope that the airports stay open and hopefully I will have some great stories to share when I get back. And if you happen to be in Paris and see a crazy red head completely lost, be nice and point her in the right direction.

Best wishes to everyone.

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5 Reasons I’ll Read Your Blog

June 10, 2010 at 5:42 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , , )

You hear it all the time. There are so many good blogs out there (and just so many blogs period) that you just don’t have time to read them all. I love reading blogs and adding comments and going back to find out if someone has replied to my comment. I find it far more satisfying than Facebook though it is a toss-up whether I prefer twitter or blogs as my online social media of choice.

I love blogs. They share so much fantastic information and there are so many writers (published or not) that are sending out so much good advice and sharing their thoughts. It really is a case of so much to choose from, how do I decide?

That said, how do I find the blogs I read and how do I decide which ones to read. Here are my top 5 reasons for landing on someone’s blog.

1.  You commented on my blog. Yes, I visit every blog of every person who comments here. Even if only for a moment before moving on. Usually I find something really interesting to read. Sometimes I realise I’ve already been to your blog (and you were in point of fact returning the favour from my comment) but then I see you have a new post and I have something new to read. I’ve been playing blog tag with a few people for awhile now. The only time I can’t do this is if the person who has commented hasn’t left a blog address for me to go to.

2.  I follow you on twitter. Usually this means you’ve just tweeted about your latest blog post and I’ve hit the link.  Interestingly, most the people I elect to follow on twitter are people who have blogs that I’ve visited that have a follow me on twitter badge. This is all getting very linky.

3.  You’re listed on a blog that I visit regularly. Yes, I read blog rolls on blogs that I really enjoy and I occasionally randomly click on names on the list. I like blog rolls that tell you when the blog was last updated because then I know if there is something recent to read.

4.  I was searching for something on google and somehow the key words I was searching for have found your blog. This one doesn’t happen so often and I don’t tend to stick around these blogs for as long, though occasionally I find a gem.

5.  The readomattic feature from WordPress.  Anyone who has posted onto a WordPress blog using the tags I use will come up in this list (when it is functioning) and I can read the first part of their post to see if I’m interested. I’ve found some very good blogs this way.

So there you have it.  My top 5 reasons for visiting and reading your blog.  How do you find the blogs you read? How did you find this one?

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Stuck In My Head

June 1, 2010 at 6:27 am (Author Info) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I’ve read pieces of more texts than I can remember today and one of them has gotten stuck in my head. I’ve read essays and reports and narratives and this and that and every other kind of text imaginable and do you know what got stuck in my head? An analytical exposition on the Raiders March (from Indiana Jones).

Okay, I’m at this conference learning about different text types and literacies and I’m actually finding it really interesting, when not being overwhelmed with content. What I need is a good month to sit down and digest everything because a lot of it is a rehash of stuff I already know but being told to me in new ways and mixed in there is new content and some of that is really, really important but is going to get lost somewhere inside my head if  I don’t have the time to sort it out. However at the moment my real problem is I’ve got this John Williams song bouncing around inside my head.

The problem being that I studied this particular song when I was at school and also wrote an analytical exposition on the text so even though I only read three paragraphs about it today in the midst of six hundred other things (slight use of hyperbole) it is just stuck there and I’m remembering watching the movie, making notes, replay the scene, make notes, replay the scene make notes, watch the whole movie, make notes. It is one of those songs that I could recognise from two notes I’ve heard it that many times.

Other than that – why is this song stuck in my head? Because it is brilliant. It is the perfect song to create character and mood and it is used brilliantly within the movie. Why do we remember things? Usually because they are really incredible, really terrible or really weird.

Anyway – just a quick post because  I really have a lot of reading to do for tomorrow and I do still want to do some writing this week (though I’m definitely not going to get much done as far as writing). I’m glad I’ve got some internet access and am able to check out some blogs this week because so far I’ve read some really interesting posts that I probably would have missed out on.

Hope everyone is having a great week. What songs are you getting stuck in your heads?

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Small Spaces and Long Drives

May 19, 2010 at 6:17 am (Author Info, Planning, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

I spent the weekend in a small car hurtling along a road that I suppose should be called a highway (it was certainly named so on the map).  I will point out that the only thing holding the road together was the roadkill and the only good thing about it being a highway was that you were travelling fast enough that you never really had to look at what you were driving over – eww.

What do you do on long car rides?

I can’t read in the car.  I can’t watch movies or play games or do anything that might stop me from becoming mind-numbingly bored because as soon as I do I get dreadfully sick.  So when I wasn’t behind the wheel and wishing that I didn’t have to focus on the small lumps smearing the road ahead what was there to do? (Conversation is of course out of the question given the driver doesn’t want to be distracted and the other passengers were trying to sleep.)

Well, I ended up doing what I always do when stuck somewhere with nothing to do.  I planned.

Before I left on the trip I had just started a new scene for my current WIP and was unhappy with how it had begun.  While I was staring out the window at the brown grass spreading in every direction, I played the scene through in my head.  Then I reversed and added a different beginning.  That didn’t really work, so I tweaked something else.  I continued to play with the scene in my head until I finally played it through and realised it was perfect. All of the issues I’d been having were resolved.

And only six hours to go until I could find a pen to write it all down in a notebook so that when I got home I could try to fix the scene for real.

What do you end up doing on long car rides?

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Been Tagged

May 10, 2010 at 8:16 am (Author Info, Feature) (, , , , , , , )

I was tagged by Alex J. Cavanaugh

For a “Tag” you answer 5 questions 5 times to share a bit about yourself. So here goes.

Question 1 – Where were you five years ago?

I was at university.

I sold donuts and coffee.

I was five years younger.

My favourite anime was still Sailor Moon (which is incredible but is no longer my favourite).

I spent nearly ten hours a week on trains.
Question 2 – Where would you like to be in five years?

Still teaching.

Still writing.

I want to have travelled to at least three countries (hopefully Japan and Canada feature in those).

Have read a lot more books.

Finally learnt to reverse park?

Question 3 – What is on your to-do list today?

Watch the morning news.

Work.

Hot chocolate.

Hopefully write something.

Work some more really.
Question 4 – What snacks do you enjoy?
Chocolate biscuits.

Chocolate bars.

Chocolate cake.

Chocolate drinks.

Anything chocolate.
Question 5 – What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?


Build a library and fill it with books that I would enjoy reading.

Build my own cinema complex and watch all the movies I love.

Try to fund a program that would help others – though I’ve never really thought about it because I’m unlikely to ever have the money to do it.

Shoes – a pair of boots for every occasion.

Travel, lots.
The rules are that I get to pass the Tag along to 5 Bloggers I admire….

Stephen Tremp

Elizabeth Spann Craig

Eric – from Working my Muse

Little Scribbler

Barb – from Creative Barb Wire

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Picasso Blog Award

February 12, 2010 at 5:37 am (Author Info) (, , , , )

I recently received the Picasso blog award from Little Scribbler. Thanks so much for passing this on to me.

As a condition of  the award, I have to  state seven facts about myself, and then pass the award onto seven other bloggers.


http://littlescribbler.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/picasso-award.jpg

  1. I use my computer’s mouse with my left hand.
  2. I love watching anime, particularly a fan of Bleach and Sailor Moon.
  3. I think dessert should always be chocolate – or at least have something chocolate flavoured involved.
  4. I really don’t like movies about talking animals but love animals that talk in books.
  5. No matter what other people tell me, I still believe that colour coding is the best system for organising books/DVD’s and anything else that requires organisation.
  6. My calendar is currently on the correct month. That probably won’t happen again for the rest of this year.
  7. Claymation is just creepy.

Alright, now for seven bloggers to pass this award onto.

Jemi Fraser from Just Jemi.

Carol Kilgore from Under the Tiki Hut.

Ann Elle Altman from All Write With Coffee.

Patricia Stoltley.

Elspeth Antonelli from It’s a Mystery.

Helen Ginger from Straight from Hel.

Eric from Working My Muse.

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