Saturday, 23 September 2017

Renovate to rejuvenate: how decorating can let loose the creative juices

Writers often get writers block. For me, it's never a block due to a lack of ideas, it's due to a decline in the will to write. When life becomes a series of day-in-day-out, get up and go to work, watch every penny, is this all my life is?, then my creativity takes a beating. This happened to me recently and it wasn't until I steered my creativity to other areas that the will to write returned.
I call this my Renovate to Rejuvenate process where I focus my creativity to other areas. I wanted to repaint the bathroom walls and ceiling, but I didn't know what colours. The wall tiles are a pale olive green. The floor tiles are burgundy. Years ago I added more colour such as the lilac walls and coloured tiles on the vanity to give it a coastal look. It's taken me years to realize that I don't do the coastal look. The second I told my mind to come up with a more mature design, I was bombarded with damask patterns and shades of orange and grey.
The marks on the wall are from a candle holder


At first I went on the hunt for burnt orange towels. I could picture the colour in my mind. I also wanted to use a Tuscany coloured paint I'd purchased a few years earlier for another part of the house. This colour was not used but I kept it anyway. I'm glad I did. Because I painted a picture frame and the colour scheme started coming together.

I found burnt orange towels and charcoal grey floor mats. This decided the colour for the feature wall.
For me, decorations play a major part in the final look. I then went to the local art supplies shop where they have hundreds of styles of scrapbooking paper. In my mind I pictured varying shades of damask print. I purchased a different style for each frame. I had six frames in total.
The picture frames were painted according to which wall they sat

Yes, I should probably get a fancy laundry hamper now.
I've seen a gorgeous damask print shower curtain I might purchase, or a dark-grey one might look good too.
I've since removed the double-sided tape from the cabinet, and I will look for new handles.


So what do you think? I'm in love with my bathroom now. There's just a couple of things to do, such as repaint the white beams and the window trim, install a new window blind (I'm thinking black), and I'm considering purchasing a damask print show curtain. It's not a total renovation, we can't afford that right now, but it's a thousand times better walking into this room now.
This project took 4 days for me to complete.
The walls are painted in Dulux shade Whisper White.
The feature wall is painted in British Paints shade Rhino Black.
The new towels and bathmat cost me $70. I bought 2 sets of towels and handtowels.
I already had the white wall paint.
The damask paper cost me $7.60.
The frames cost me $7 total.
I already had the burnt orange paint colour.
The dark grey paint  for the feature wall cost me $37.50. This paint will also be used in the adjoining toilet.
The rest of the décor I already had.

So why was it important for me to let my creative juice swim in another lake?
 1. It switched off the nagging voice that told me I should be writing.
2. It opened up the mind to colours and patterns and décor rather than words.
What happened during the renovation? Those 1000 words I kept telling myself each day to write, I started writing them again while the paint was drying. And I'm rejuvenated to continue renovating and writing.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Oz Comic-Con indie author alley - D L Richardson


The time is almost upon me to pack the car with books and merchandise and head to Australia's version of Comic-Con. In June this year I attended SupaNova, and it was my first time as a stall holder. One thing a few customers said was, while they love books they just couldn't fit any more in their house. And it's not easy to sell ebooks at a stall though I did have bookmarks made up with the scan code. So I created a range of products to sell that weren't books but were still part of the franchise. And hey, I own the franchise, so why not be like George Lucas and Disney?
I'll sell t-shirts, book bags, artwork as well as all of my seven book titles. Here's a sample of the goods I'll be selling. I hope to be able to sell these online as well. But first I have to figure out what sort of online store I want.

I hope to see you there.
Oz Comic-Con
Darling Harbour International Convention Centre
September 30 - October 1, 2017


Friday, 15 September 2017

Author spotlight on Miranda Nading, Mirren Hogan, and Stephanie Barr

Indie authors are getting under the spotlight on my blog this month.
So far I've put these authors under the spotlight.
Now it's time for 3 more indie authors to showcase their books.
Miranda Nading
Mirren Hogan
Read my review of Crimson Fire here
Stephanie Barr
Coming soon
More authors under the spotlight...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Speculative fiction - what is it and why do I write it? by D L Richardson

Speculative Fiction

What is it and Why do I write it?
Welcome to my new subscribers, and hello to my current subscribers. Many of you have been on my VIP list for a few years, since my first novel was published, a young adult title called The Bird With The Broken Wing. A lot has changed in that time. I’ve written two more YA novels as well as four books for adults. It’s occurred to me that some of you might have signed up while I was writing YA and my books for adults might not be to your liking. That’s okay. Today, I thought I’d give you a brief look into the world of speculative fiction.
What is speculative fiction?
It’s broadly described as a piece of fiction applying the “what if” principle. What if vampires were real? What if the world ended because of a meteor strike? What if you could become invisible for a day? All fiction is, in essence, speculative. What if the man you loved dumped you for a younger woman (chick-lit)? What if you were being chased by a serial killer (thriller)? What if you were single and looking for love (romance)?
The term ‘speculative fiction’ is usually applied to three genres and their subgenres because thrillers and romance and women’s fiction typically are called literary, historical, or commercial fiction. They don’t involve the supernatural or the predictive.
These listed subgenres are just a few examples. There are so many more with mash-ups and new styles.
Science fiction eg: apocalyptic, space opera, adventure, dystopian, futuristic, 
Horror eg: supernatural thriller, ghosts, slasher, psychological thriller, magic, demons
Fantasy eg: urban fantasy, swords and sorcery, magic, epic saga, dragons, shape shifters, vampires
Why do I write speculative fiction?
In one way, the answer is I don’t know. If you look at my book shelf at home it has a vast range of genres. There’s romance, sci-fi, horror, thriller, chick-lit, YA, fantasy, classic literature. Some of my favourite books are not speculative fiction: the Secret Garden, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Outsiders. But then some of them are: The Hobbit, Roboapocalypse, Interview with the Vampire. Marian Keyes and Maeve Binchy are two my favourite authors. But then, so are Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
However, speculative fiction something I’m draw to writing. I believe this area offers the best method for me to explore the philosophical discussions that happen inside my head. When it comes to science fiction, we can predict a future world. That’s easy. We can create policies and practices. Also easy. The beauty of this genre is that most sci-fi stories not only get a reader to ask “Can we do this?” but they can allow a reader to ask “Should we do this?” The current state of world affairs provides everyone with the chance to ask this question. My dystopian novel (currently with a major publisher son fingers crossed for me) explores the philosophical discussion around population control and oppression. These can be, but not always, very exhilarating genres to write and read.
It’s not the only genre I write in. I currently have four romance novels and one crime/thriller novel that I aim to work on over the course of next year and submit to publishers. So even if speculative fiction or fantasy or science fiction isn’t your thing, maybe one of my future books might make it onto your reading pile.
Thanks for the opportunity to chat to you. Take care till we next chat.
D L Richardson

No promo, no brags, no links

There are no links in this blog post, no calls to action, no self-promo, no incentives, no promises. I realize so many readers are becoming bombarded with 'buy me' emails and posts, I worry that authors may be losing touch with the reason we wrote these pieces in the first place. To connect. To say hi. To say this is what I've been up to.

Well, I've been up to my neck in the daily grind of working to pay the bills and family dramas that would give Downton Abbey a run for their money. It's called life.

Hope your life isn't too hectic at the moment. What with Christmas only around the corner.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Author spotlights - Jeanette O'Hagan, J I Rogers, Jesse Frankel

All through the month of September, a group of indie authors, including myself, are putting the spotlight on each other.
So far we've put the spotlight on:
Now its these three authors turn.
Jeanette O'Hagan
You can read my review of "The Herbalist's Daughter" book here
J. I. Rogers
Read the 5 star review from Readers Favorite

Jesse Frankel
Please follow and like and sign up to newsletters. More authors will be coming under the spotlight soon.
Sharing is caring this September for indie authors.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Author spotlight on Diane Morrison, Jane Suen, and Jason Nugent

September is spotlight author month.
A group I belong to is holding a month long promotion. I'll post a few authors at a time. Why not drop by and check them out.
Today the spotlight is on...

More authors to come under the spotlight in a few days.
Have you checked any of these books out yet?


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

An author's journal - getting healthy

I started recording my daily eating and exercise routine to keep myself on track. I find it's working. However updating the log daily takes up time. So I'll keep a track and only post it once a week.

I also may not get around to writing down every meal, but I'll share techniques I'm using to help me "lose the caboose". For example, last night at dinner, my husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant. Usually we get the honey chicken (it's deep fried chicken pieces drizzled in honey sauce). It's delicious. And we eat it with fried rice.

Our Friday night once a week if we're lucky eat-out dining experience:
I swapped deep fried chicken for sizzling chicken in Szechuan sauce and I ate mostly vegetables anyway.
I swapped fried rice for boiled rice.
I only had 1 spring roll and 1 dim sim instead of 2 pieces each.

Our binge movie watching experience:
Normally when the husband and I sit down to watch movies, we break out the popcorn and maybe other snacks. This time we sat and watched it without popcorn. I know, I hear you say, how could I?

The weekend dog walk:
Instead of just walking the dog, I called up a friend who also has a dog and we took them down to the beach. There's a really long beach to walk along. That took us an hour return. all that walking on the sand was felt days later.

Now for the confessions. 4 days of discipline is easy to achieve. After that, life interrupts, and while I'm conscious of changing my eating patterns, yes it's more salad and vegetables with dinner, I've also broken my goal of drinking when not socialising. Can I share why? I'm feeling a bit down from the loss of hope I've been experiencing. Most movie and book plots follow a structure. Character in the real world. Inciting incident. Call to adventure. All is lost.

I'm also at the disillusioned stage. I cancelled a podcast because 'what's the point?' was all I could think of.

I'm at this 'all is lost' and 'disillusioned' stage. Most authors live here or at least visit it. We want something. We work hard to get it. We don't get it. At the end of the day, success relies on a lot of luck. So I'm feeling unlucky. And I'm licking my wounds. With scotch. And wine. But not cheese. I am not a fan of the dairy industry and the way it treats animals so I will not go down without my principles at least.

Note to self. Get past the 'all is lost' phase and move into the 'battle' phase. It's all any of us can do. I've passed the point of 'no return'. Now I need to make it to the 'achieve goal' stage.

So it's true, perfect health really is about the mind, the body, and the spirit.

More on this journey next week.