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**The Seer**
John Black is not your average teenager. Having just experienced his 16th birthday, his world is turned upside down when he realizes that our universe is actually made up of two independent realities and that he is the prophesied savior of both of them. As the new leader in the battle of good and evil, he must discover in himself the strength and friendships required to ensure that the world as he knows it continues to exist.

Monday, 10 December 2012

When it all goes wrong...

Firstly, yes I do normally back up my work. And ironically my husband (bless his cotton socks) had just mentioned that I should back up my work ("yes dear" I think was my non-committal response). When suddenly the laptop I was working on decided it wanted a vacation and went dead. 

When I did manage to restart it my ten thousand word chapter was nothing but a bunch of zeros. Now, Google (my old friend) did help me when I searched for "recover word file" but what it told me I did not want to read. My file was as dead as a door nail. Gone as a goneburger. Deceased. Kaput. 

A few tears and tantrums later I had gone through the grieving process and released it was my own stupid fault, and frankly if I didn't back up my work on a more regular basis this kind of thing was going to happen. Sighing, I got back to re-writing (well that, and opening a bottle of wine to make it a little easier to write).

Motto of the story? If your going to be stupid have a bottle of wine in the fridge, and always back up your work as you go. Save yourself the grief. Its much easier to write the first time around I have found and if not make sure you have a killer memory....

Friday, 30 November 2012

Snippet of the new book

Well I'm into the third chapter now for the second book - The Wiccan Wife. I thought I would give you a snippet of it so you can see what it's about. It's very different from The Seer but I hope you will enjoy it. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Chapter One - The Book

Sarah sat sipping at her coffee. The webpage was open and she stared at it willing it to give her the answers. Google search  - the secret to happiness. Hmm, lots of references to books and anti-depressants flashed up on her screen  No, that was not the solution she was looking for. She narrowed it to happiness and everything from cyanide and happiness to the pursuit of happiness appeared on her drop-box  Cyanide and happiness? What on earth? She clicked on the pursuit of happiness but it ended up just being about the film.
She nibbled on her bottom lip and glanced nervously around the office. Sarah was a middle aged thirty something mother of three. She had long since given up on the idea of identifying the exact nature of her age right about the same time she stopped trying to please men. Both became a redundant feature in her life when she got married and had kids. Now she wore navy pants to a part time secretarial job she hated in an office full of other women who she was pretty sure despised her. Why? Because that's what you did when you got older she told herself. You got sensible clothes and a boring job and it was OK that you felt old and fat because you probably were.
She was supposed to be working on a letter her boss had dictated to her early that morning but she had got bored and he had gone golfing. And somehow she had found herself wondering for just a second, just a nano-second, if there was something better out there. She looked up and saw Lynley come back into the room. Beautiful, gorgeous,long legged, blonde haired just turned twenty and she knew it Lynley. Inwardly sighing she remembered the days when she wore skirts so short that she had to be careful sitting down. It was then that she accidentally clicked on a sponsored link. 
Suddenly the office filled with the sound of Celtic music. Horrified Sarah glanced back at her screen. The link she had clicked had taken her to a spirituality website selling tarot card readings and spiritual guidance. Frantically she clicked at everything she could in an effort to try and close the page. 
"Ohhh" said Lynley her eyes narrowing with the scent of juicy office gossip "What are yoouuu doing?"
"Nothing!" gasped Sarah "Just doing some typing!"
"Oh I don't think so..." said Lynley sliding over to her desk like a snake "Let me see that"
Sarah tried to protect her screen but it was too late. Lynley was looking over her shoulder and the look of smug amusement was almost more than Sarah could bare. 
"So" she said "I never would have taken you for one of the witchy poo ones. Mind you" and she eyed Sarah slyly from the side 
"They say the quiet ones are often the ones who are into the freaky stuff. I had a boyfriend once who told me that he had a girlfriend from accounting who was on the outside the quietest, most seemingly boring person ever, but he got her home and bang! She turned into some feral, screaming mass of like..freaky shit. In the end she got so weird on him he had to leave her" She eyeballed Sarah carefully again and smiled 
"Yeah I could see that in you"
Sarah could feel the heat rising in her face. She had never imagined that Lynley would think such a thing about her.
She finally managed to find the tiny red cross button in the corner and shut down the page.
"Well I am not like that" replied Sarah haughtily "I clicked on it by accident"
"Sure you did" winked Lynley "Oh don't worry I won't tell. Anyway, I went to see the latest Starlight movie the other night. You know, the one with the coven of witches that kills vampires in it? Anyway, it totally rocked. I would just love to try out some of that stuff myself." 
She inspected her nails and sat down on the edge of Sarah's desk her long golden legs wrapping underneath
"Look Lynley" said Sarah slowly "You might have got the wrong impression of me. I am not into anything like that. I don't even go to those type of movies...I mean I could if I wanted to, its just that well.." 
She looked at the pretty young girl nervously not sure exactly how to explain her predicament. How was she going to explain that she was not cool and young anymore? 
"Oh yeah" she snorted "Thats right. Richard. Never mind"
She got up as if suddenly disgusted that she was even conversing with such an old lady as Sarah and swaggered back to her own desk. Once there she sat down and promptly proceeded to pull out a nail file and began furiously filing at the red lacquered lengths, removing the chance for any further conversation. Sarah sat glumly at her desk staring at the bright blue background screen of her computer. 
Richard was Sarah's husband. He was known around her office as "the boring git". Sometimes if they were particularly drunk at the work functions they called him  "Painter" because they said talking to him was like watching paint dry. He was an accountant, which in everybody's viewpoint was an automatic fail anyway. Since he didn't have anything in common with any of them he therefore used to try and talk to them about politics or economics. It was always a disaster. Sarah can still remember with vivid detail the Christmas party three years ago when Lynley had first started working at the office and Richard tried to explain to her the economics behind purchasing her Prada handbag from Harrods, and how she could get a perfectly good knock-off version of it for half the price off the web and nobody would know the difference. The look of shock and horror that manifested on her face at the mere concept that someone would even contemplate such a thing was almost priceless. Right up until the point when he also suggested that she was also fluttering away perfectly good money on what could become a solid portfolio or investment in a worthwhile economic dividend such as property. Sarah didn't realize that people could actually turn purple until that day. 
She sighed inwardly. 
But Richard hadn't always been the tight fisted, boring old git that the office girls had him ear marked as. The Richard she had met and fallen in love with was a very different fellow indeed. 
They had met at college. Richard was originally an Philosophy student. He was rebelling against his parents wishes for him to be an accountant ironically. She was studying psychology and took a philosophy paper just as an extra credit towards her degree. Initially she didn't really think that much of him if she was honest with herself. He was pretty confident and outspoken in his opinions of the world. He followed closely the theories of Nietzsche and Marx and argued both sides vigorously  But they ended up being in a study group together which meant a lot of coffee and verbal fights each week, and eventually this led to drinks on a Thursday evening. Thursday were cheap night at the student bar and because they were always broke it was the only night they could afford to go. Then one night he stopped fighting with her. The rest as they say is history. He ended up changing his major the following year to accounting and they got married on a shoestring. When they found out that she was pregnant with their first child, she dropped out just before graduation to focus on their new little family. She regretted not finishing but she told herself she could always go back and do it, but she never had. Richard on the other hand went on to get a great job at a top accounting firm and was very proud of his new life he had built. He worked very hard in the first few years often doing hours of overtime and coming home very late just so they could save enough money to get themselves into their first home. During that time out popped child number two and a couple years more slog before number three arrived. Sarah helped out doing part-time work along the way in between but she never did get that chance to finish off her degree. There just never seemed to be the right time to do it. And as time went by things just seemed to get into a routine for them. Richard was working his way up the ladder at his office, getting promotions and doing the hours to get noticed. Sarah was just doing what she needed to do and spending the rest of her time with the kids and the housework. And the days slipped into months, which slipped into years. And before they knew it there they were. The boring old git and the sensible mother of three.
She opened up the work she had been working on before she got distracted and got stuck back into it again. But she found her thoughts constantly drifting back to Lynleys comments about the website. The afternoon dragged by and before long it was time to go and pick up the kids from school. She tidied away the last of her work and got up from her desk. Lynley barely noticed her leave as she skulked past her desk and down the lift towards the car park. She was riding in her car listening to the radio on the motorway part of her trip home but her thoughts were a mile away. 
"And now folks its time for you to ring in and make your phone requests. Hello caller? Whats your name?" blared the radio through Sarah's car
"Oh hi!" chirped the young lady through the radio "Is this the phone requests for Radio Ten?"
"It sure is love. Whats your name?" said the DJ
"My names Lynley and I'm ringing from work" said the friendly happy voice
Sarah felt the blood drain slightly from her face. Surely not, she thought. There must be a million Lynley's in the region.
"Can I make a dedication to someone?" she chirped
"Absolutely my love" grooved the DJ "What do you want and who's the lucky man?"
"Oh no!" gushed Lynley "This is something for one of the ladies who works with me. Can you please play The Witch by The Cult for Sarah?"
There was a moments pause by the Dj as he absorbed this information. 
"Wow, umm ok. Let me see if we have this in our list" he said quickly "Ok, yeah it looks like I can. So any reason for this?"
"Oh.. not really. She's just a big fan" said Lynley slyly
"Right" said the DJ clearly not believing her "Well everybody. Here's something a little different for you all this afternoon. It's The Witch by the Cult especially for Sarah. Sarah, if your listening I hope you enjoy this one!" 
The beat kicked in right about the same time Sarah's heart started pumping again. Her hands had clenched so hard around the steering wheel that her knuckles were bright white and she could feel herself physically shaking slightly. Every part of her body screamed indignation against Lynley. How could she do such a public thing? The worst part was she knew that the girls back in the office would now be sitting in the coffee room in fits of laughter at her expense. She didn't know how on earth she was ever going to face them again. The rising sense of anger and shame brought a flush of crimson to her cheeks and she planted her foot a little harder on the accelerator in response. 
What brought her back to reality was the bright flashing lights in her rear view mirror. This had to be possibly the worst day in the history of bad days. As she put on the indicator and pulled her little sensible navy blue Austin Mini to the curb she waited patiently for the policeman to attend to her the sinking feeling in her stomach now having risen firmly to her mouth.
A tall middle aged and rather good looking man with ash blond hair cutting a fine figure in his uniform rapped on her window and she rolled it down. Damn, she thought, why did he have to be a good looking one? Why couldn't she just get the old fat ugly one? Instead she found herself staring into luscious green eyes.
"Good afternoon Ma'am" he said calmly
She felt her heart flutter slightly. Damn it, she thought. Control yourself your supposed to be remorseful.
"Any reason why you were going so fast? You were doing 76 miles an hour in a 70 mile zone" he smiled
"I'm so sorry officer" she said quickly "I didn't even realize I was speeding. I never speed! I mean like never. I really have had the worst day ...ever. I am really, really sorry. I..." 
But then she ran out of words and out of excuses. 
He looked at her with a lopsided grin
"So you don't have any reason then?" he said 
"Well, I...ummm..." she stammered "No"
"Thats fine. I will just go and check your details. Could you please give me your license and insurance information please?" he said
Sarah numbly leaned over and retrieved her license from her handbag and the insurance from the glove-box and handed them to him out the window
"Thank you. Now just wait there in the car please Ma'am" he said calmly
As he left she couldn't help herself, and she watched his bottom as it gently swaggered away from her in the reversing mirror. Oh dear, she thought, I am going straight to hell for that one. But it was so nice and firm, and looked so good in those slightly tight police pants. She began to wonder if he was married, not that it mattered, but just for interests sake and everything. 
The diversion of her thoughts kept her so busy she barely noticed he had suddenly reappeared at the window
"Here you go ..Sarah" he said smoothly handing her back her license and information through the window. It gave her a little fright and she startled.
"Now you will be getting a ticket I'm afraid.  Keep an eye on your speed next time ok?" he said
"Oh ok" she gushed blushing slightly and hoping he hadn't noticed her staring at him before
"Now have a nice day" he grinned. As he was about to leave he gave her an audacious wink and then headed back to his car. She felt the blush sweep over her whole face, and she was almost sure that he was exaggerating his walk for her. Damn it, she was staring at his arse again.
Turning the key and trying to get away a little too fast she managed to stall the car and had to restart it, before taking a deep breath and finally getting back onto the motorway. She had certainly had a day of interesting incidents she thought.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Finding time to write

So since my friends and family have found out that I have been writing several have asked "How do you fit in time to do it?" My standard answer has become "In between the kids bedtime and the 8.30 movie...". I cannot resist a good evening movie. That, and its the truth. I don't get a lot of time usually to sit for hours plonking at the keyboard writing down my characters every thought, my every plot wish or every theme. I wish that I did! But what I do find is that when I do sit down to write I find that I am determined to get everything out. Its very cathartic really. 

But I strongly believe that there is a writer in all of us if we set our minds to it. Just a couple hundred words a  day even would get you there eventually. Think of it as the reverse of giving up smoking. Instead of taking one less a day, you could write one more a day instead! Even better - you don't have to buy patches. Just think of the money you could save.

So next time your sitting there watching TV after 7pm remember this. That book  you were meaning to write since you were seven doesn't write itself. Just a couple words a day my friend, just a couple words a day. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Finished!!!!

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah...
Yes, The Seer is finally finished. Well by finished I mean I have got to the end of the story and stopped writing. What I don't mean is that its a polished and complete work of piece of art. I still have to edit it, re-edit it and then probably re-edit it again.
But.... I finished it *dances around the room*
So forgive me my excitement but given that its the first please allow me this moment of bucket list triumph.

Of course in typical fashion I started writing the next one straight away. You can't just stop writing now can you?

So... Here's the outline for my next book (and I hope your all ready to read something utterly different once you've all read The Seer)

 - The Wiccan Wife -
Sarah is a married mother of three stuck in a middle aged crisis - boredom. But an accidental google search at work led her down the path of trying to discover her inner Wiccan. What followed was a mix of misunderstandings and hilarity as she tried to work out the true magic in her life, love and family.


Monday, 12 November 2012

A Monty Python moment....

I was reading in the paper the other day about a Judge who slammed an attempt to prosecute an overseas fisherman who had died pre-trial . He was quoted as saying
"It reminds me of Monty Python and his dead parrot," he said when the ministry said it wanted the case to proceed. "I would have thought that the death of the accused is pretty fundamental."

It is a rarity it in our daily lives that we get to truly speak our minds like this jovial Judge, but the vision of the dead parrot sketch got me laughing and reminded me a little of why I started writing. 

It would be a very boring world indeed without those that could speak their mind. Without the writers who put ink to paper (or now days finger to keyboard!) and wrote down what secretly everyone was really thinking.  

Freedom of speech. 

It reminds me of how lucky I am to live in such a place that we have mockingbirds for judges and somewhere were I can write whatever takes my fancy without fear of repercussion. My stories are all fictional, but I do not have to write in secret.  And as I watch the current world dynamics change, with elections and leaders ebb and flow I am glad to be where I am. And hopefully, my own mockingbirds will call out their own tune. Mine will just a paper version. 


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The end is nigh

Finally I can see the end coming that bit closer. I finished another chapter and I am now starting to wrap up the loose ends in the book before I sign it off as "finished". Its funny but as I race towards the end I am starting to feel strangely nostalgic. It has been such as marathon of experiences not only for me as writer, but for my characters in this novel. Often I would find myself in the midst of an adventure not knowing entirely where the plot was going to lead me next only to be surprised myself with how the tangled web would unfold before me. And now its nearly all over. 
And the work of editing and re-editing will have to begin.
Well...maybe first I will have a strong cup of coffee. You should never have to think too hard without it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

When are you good enough?

I am wondering at what point do you consider yourself good enough to comment on someone else's work? I have been reading a piece that was offered for critique in a writers blog and I am tempted to offer some advice, but I am holding back. Who am I to offer writing advice barely being a writer myself? 

At what point do you become adequate enough to critique someones writing I wonder?

Is it once you have finally been published that you can say - well I have been published so now I can officially comment on someones work? If that theory stands then everyone who has self-published is really taking self liberties in critiquing because they didn't really earn the right but rather published the right themselves surely? But there are others who specialize in critiquing who have never published themselves, so how does that work? Should you really only ever comment if you have some kind of degree in these matters?

Confusion confusion... 
As always your thoughts appreciated :)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Motivation - you fickle fiend

Ah yes... the computer sits there awaiting visitation but everything else seems suddenly infinitely more interesting. You remember you have washing to do. The kids rooms are a mess. That thing you meant to buy on the shopping list rears its ugly head and reminds you to go out and buy it. You should really wash the car and clean the garage...And then you realize it.... you have bitten by the bug... the "can't be bothered" bug.
Its a nefarious little monster. Sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Jumps into your coffee cup and sucks your inspiration dry. 
That was I am afraid the cause of my "poor attendance" this last weekend. If I was a school teacher I would have given myself a F. But then, sometimes I think life likes to let you be a little slack. Gives you chances to be a little blatantly and obviously naughty. Its like a chocolate bar that your not supposed to eat but  you sneak anyway. It tastes soooo good at the time, but then adds five pounds to your hips. You know you will pay for it later, but at the time it just seems worth it.
And so today I am paying for my indulgences as I get back into my writing. Midway through the fight scenes its hard to conjure up the same enthusiasm that I had last week now I have had the time off. But perhaps that's why we need some time off occasionally. So we are a little less intense.
Or maybe its just to take time to enjoy the chocolates of life.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A few changes have been made!

Hi everyone! Well firstly you may have noticed the obvious - the story has been taken down! After careful consideration and advice from other writers I have been advised to take down the first two chapters and hold you all in suspense with the rest of the story... Oh no! I hear you all cry! But what happens and how can we possibly have any say now in the writing?
Well... your just going to have to blog your complaints. If I get enough of them I might reconsider. Otherwise I will keep this instead as a writers blog of how I am going and give you hints of whats ahead and then let you know when the book is ready to be released. Don't worry! I promise not to spoil the ending for you- nobody likes an ruined ending!!
So to give you a heads up on what you would see in Chapter three?? There is danger afoot in Otherlands, with John getting captured by the Ghoul and being given the death penalty.....
Does he get out? Well for that my friends you would need to get the book.....

;)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Meeting others

Was very excited last night to have my first "contact" with another kiwi writer. Its wonderful to be meeting such interesting people and see what they are doing. I think it helps with the creative process to know that your not on your own out there plonking away at a keyboard mindlessly. 
I've also enjoyed watching the counter slowly climb as people tune in to see the blog. Although in fairness it does tend to make my imagination run a little rampant  about who they could be. You should be able to get a photo/screenshot of them or something! I probably know a heap of them anyway so it would just be nice to know what they were up to whilst reading ... smiling? Doing the OMG what was she thinking face? 
Anyway I digress and your probably more interested in the book than my mindless ramblings! So I shall disappear again. Next is the end of Chapter 1 and then onto the beginning of Chapter 2. Hope your enjoying the ride so far. Not a lot of comments yet though team??? I'm not sure if that's a good sign or a bad one?!?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Sci-fi Fact or or a Fantasy fiction?

I have been contemplating today the realms of sci-fi and fantasy and how this affects my plot.
Wikipedia says sci-fi is:

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least non-supernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technologyspace travelparallel universesaliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas".[1]

 Now I would  deem Otherlands as being a parallel universe and I certainly write about both worlds as being set in this time period or potentially in the future.
But then fantasy is:

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plottheme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genre of science fiction by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific themes, though there is a great deal of overlap between the two, both of which are subgenres of speculative fiction.

My Otherlands is a "magical" place. But the concepts are both "magical" and scientific depending which way you look at the coin. They are also theological if you want to look at that slant. But is it scientific enough to be Sci-fi??? Decisions. Decisions. 

Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The plot thickens

I have started to really get into the gritty part of the plot now. I did have one part where I had a moment of writers block wondering where to take the characters next, but I think I have cracked that. Someone suggested that I write the dramatic parts and then go back and fill in the part leading up to it, but I haven't done that. Why? Because I think that lead up should be a fluid as the drama and I feel if I wrote it in chunks I would lose that fluidity of thought that I have. I just gave myself a moment of time and it came to me. I knew where I wanted them to end up next, so I just had to work out how to get them there.
Anyway, the characters are starting to get into the thick of it now at my end... I hope your enjoying reading the start of how they get there at yours. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Getting the word out

Its funny how as I am getting stuck back into this writing the simple fact that I have now invited family and friends to view this has made me more nervous. Complete strangers as critics was not a problem - but people you know...well now that is a different kettle of fish. I can confidently say however that as my part time escape from reality this book has been most useful, and I am enjoying writing it and twisting around the plot a bit immensely. I hope that the readers will enjoy the troubles and triumphs of the characters as much as I have. Now if I could only install a coffee machine next to the computer ....

Friday, 28 September 2012

Getting back into the mood

Well now that I have got this up on the web I have re instigated the writing spirit again. I think the motivation of others watching is a great kick in the pants to get back into mood for getting more done. I am just getting into the good bit in the book - the fight scenes. I will keep you all in a little more suspense though I am afraid - you will have to read up to that part!!

What I am learning as I go is that writing is tough. There are many days you find lots of motivation and write lots and lots. Other days when writing anything at all is really REALLY hard. I try to write at least 1000 words a day to keep on top of it. But when your dealing with other stuff in life as well its not always that easy to do. 

It has definitely given me a new found respect to authors and their trade.  I wish that they all got paid their dues for this but realistically its backbreaking work for little reward for the majority. Kudos to the few who make it to the big leagues. 

And so, enough delaying tactics!! I will post up the next part :) Enjoy...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Welcome!

Greetings everyone!

As many of you who already know me will know I have always been a bit of a book geek. Yes, sadly I am one of the sad individuals who enjoys nothing more than a good book, a glass a wine and some quiet alone time with another authors masterpiece. I have been known in the past to devour books like others devour three course meals at an all you can eat diner. But my ability to read has yet to be challenged by an ability to write. So, I figured I needed to finally take up that challenge and get off the spectators chair and into the drivers seat. It is a good distraction in my time off from things going on around here and work.
 I warn you all in advance! 1. I have bad spelling and grammar - any official complaints will need to be made to my husband as although I know its pretty bad, I personally have lived with it so long I no longer care. I will happily rectify anything pointed out to me but please don't whine. It's annoying. 2. I have a very "unique" way of writing - try to keep up. Yes, I know it can be a little fast paced. I hate boring books. They are - well ...boring. I try to make the plot thick and fast. If your finding it simply too fast and I am losing you all though let me know. I write what is in my head and hope my fingers can keep up. This is not always going to theoretically work! 3. This work is "as is" and not yet "reworked" for publishing as such. So it will need to be tweaked and re-tweaked before it would be listed. Since I doubt there is any money to be made on this (being a new writer and all) I figure you guys might as well enjoy the ride! Feel free to jump in and make comments, suggestions on characters, plot or direction. I have actually got most of that pretty laid out and you will have to wait with baited breath (actually nearly 60% of this book is written but I am going to release it in stages so you can digest it slowly!!) and then we will have a grand finale and see what happens! I'm pretty excited with the final part.
So.... just to get you into it here's the story:

The Seer

John Black is not your average teenager. Having just experienced his sixteenth birthday, his world is turned upside down when he realizes that our universe is actually made up of two independent realities and that he is the prophesied savior of both of them. As the new leader in the battle of good and evil, he must discover in himself the strength and friendships required to ensure that the world as he knows it continues to exist.