A Crumby Christmas that Ended with a Fantabulous Dragon

Vacuum the hall with the Dyson cleaner, fa la la la la la, la la la la, tis the time to try and get leaner, fa la la la la, la la la la. So that was Christmas. Did I enjoy the leap from pre-Christmas to after Christmas? Well, read on and find out. Christmas Eve started with the line for the seafood—an Aussie thing as it’s hot here at Christmas. My thirty minutes in the line wasn’t so bad, though, as I had my iPod and Twitter to keep me amused. I don’t think I bothered anyone too much with my dance moves, well not until I smacked the guy in front of me with a flailing arm at which point one of the bouncers on the door gave me a warning (ok, I might be exaggerating just a little, but there were bouncers, hence the need for me to treat it as if it were a nightclub).

The line
The line

So, having survived buying the seafood, I moved on from Christmas Eve to Christmas morning, which I spent mopping and vacuuming, bleaching the toilet blah, blah, blah, only to have the place dirtied within five minutes of people arriving, as crackers were munched and crumbs fell, peppering my carpet like cat litter at a demented cat-lady’s house. After I scooted around on the floor picking up the bits, while other crumbs rained down on my head from ignorant family members, I managed to get lunch on the table. Everyone ate their weight in seafood and ham, and following Newton’s law of no action without an equal and something-or-other reaction, I’ve put on a couple of kilos. One of the culprits of my increased buxomness was the staple of Aussie cakes, the pavlova—or, as we like to call it, the pav (see below and try not to drool).

The Pav
The Pav

 

After the family rolled to their cars, and the kids were in bed, I opened my present from one of the most awesome friends I’ve made on Twitter. This person wants to remain anonymous, but I say thank you all the same. I was gifted with a handmade t-shirt of one of my favourite books of all time. Can you guess? Ok, I’ll tell you. It’s Shadows of the Realm, my best-selling (ok semi-best-selling) fantasy book with dragons (I have to put in those words for the SEO, you know how it is). Behold me in all my dragon covered glory…

Me looking snazzy in my book cover
Me looking snazzy in my book cover

But, alas, today the pav is all gone, the crumbs have been banished and the diet has started. I did enjoy Christmas and look forward to doing it all again next year. I want to wish everyone an awesome year for 2013 and thanks for visiting my blog :).

Tweep Nation Rocks the Depend now We’re LIVE

tweeplogofinal

Ok, you can say it: Dionne’s been lazy. I’m sorry but I’ve been so busy I didn’t post last week’s awesome Tweep Nation Podcast on my blog *holds hand out for a smack* (I originally typed ‘for smack’ but that just sounded wrong). Anyway, last week, episode 44, we entertained author Jason McIntyre. He was so cool (loved the Canadian accent) and he was super obliging and married Bobbi Jo on air with Amber officiating in her reverend capacity. Unfortunately Bobbi Jo had to leave when her dealer came to the door.

This week was our third live-streamed show, and Dance on Fire author, Jimmy Garcia, agreed to be our victim. His second book has recently been released, Flash Point, and has a super interesting premise. You should check it out :). He was patient and listened while Amber and I talked sex drive, spooky whistling and what constitutes being a slut. Oh dear, will we ever behave? (I think not, so don’t hold your breath).

You can listen on all the usual places (iTunes, stitcher and Newbiewriters) or you can join us live, at the time of our demise, every week—Friday night US time, Saturday morning Aus time. If you join the live chatroom we can see your comments in real time. We’d love to see you there cause it rocks! Look out for times on @TweepNation1 as we’ll update it every week (as times can change) :).

 

Get Your Trenchcoats—Amber & Dionne go Live with Damien

This week we went live! That’s right, we had a live audience. Our guest was Newbiewriter host and host of the awesome Newbiewriters website, Damien. Damien’s doing Movember, so support him if you can, he also has a wicked sense of humour and we covered interesting topics such as neighbours having affairs, to, what if people were built like octopi, and how to make pitching your book easy, which may or may not involve bringing a mask to the interview. It was loads of fun to address our listeners’ comments as they typed in the chat room, so thank for joining us (you awesome peeps know who you are). Lucky for everyone else, it is recorded and available at the usual places: itunes, newbiewriters and stitcher. Enjoy episode 43!

Amber & Dionne get Serious with Author Edward Lazellari

Our Awesome guest on Tweep Nation today is traditionally published author, Edward Lazellari. He’s a New York author who is about to release the second book in his urban fantasy series. The first book, Awakenings, was super awesome (look out for my review). He’s worked as an artist for Marvel Comics and apparently he’s the reason Amber failed geometry—listen to find out why. Edward also has some great advice for those of you who dream of being successful at writing. An inspirational and entertaining interview. Don’t miss it! Go now! (sorry, was that too bossy?)

Just a reminder, if you can’t listen on iTunes we’re also on Newbiewriters.com and Stitcher.

Flash Fiction Autobiographical Piece (no I’m not flashing)

Uni is upon me again and I must write weekly snippets to post on the board. This week we have been asked to tell our ‘life story’ in 250 words. Mine has gone off the rails a tad. I know I understand what I mean but maybe other people won’t. I’ve posted it anyway because I love to share. Here’s hoping someone else enjoys my autobiographical flash fiction.

 

What is relevant in the story of my life? Is it that I was born in Sydney to immigrant parents, or is it that I’m married with two young children? Many of the events that shaped me are hazy memories, some even appear as dreams: me as a five year old, lying in a white room on a cold, stainless steel table, staring at bright lights while a white-coated person stands over me. As a teenager, when I told my mother about this memory-come-dream, she advised that when I’d had meningitis, they extracted spinal fluid from me with a more-than-impressive needle, without anesthetic. She, sitting frantic in an adjoining room, could hear my screams: screams she would never forget. My life shaping experience had become hers.

What is the story of someone’s life? As I stand before you as an author, mother, sister, sports-lover and wife, does my backstory matter? My experiences are gone as soon as they occur, and I am this moment in time. The retelling is a reshaping, not a reliving—we can never go back. The relevant story of my life, to me, is what is to come. Since I am not who I was when I was born, my life unfolds moment to moment: the story ever beginning and ending, each moment becomes my story until it has passed—then it belongs to another.

Amber gets Clicky with Dionne & Michelle’s Blobs

Our uber awesome guest today was author, Michelle Franco. She has been a long-time Twitter friend of Amber & I and has appeared on Tweep Nation once before. Michelle writes zombie stories and has two books out, her latest is Where Will You Hide. She was very patient while Amber clicked her mouse like there was no tomorrow: I, on the other hand, was ready to send Amber to podcast heaven. She really knows how to push my buttons. Gee, how did I manage to write so many cliches into one blog post? It’s skill I suppose. Join the Tweep Nation podcast for hysterics, hysterectomies and histrionics and occasionally you may hear something intelligent between the swear words.

My Five Minutes of Fame is Here—Quick Look Now Before it Goes!

Hey Tweeps and Peeps. Today was a very exciting day for me because I made the Internet version of the Sydney Morning Herald—one of Sydney’s biggest newspapers. I was interviewed by Melbourne journalist Matt Smith for an article he’s done on the success of authors with e-books and the new climate where publishers don’t get to say whether our book gets out there or not. It’s great article and I was so happy that he interviewed another awesome indie author, and one of my great friends, Charity Parkerson. We both come off looking quite good I think, and for that I’m grateful lol. I was, of course, nervous about saying something stupid but he managed to edit it quite well ;).

So today I’ve enjoyed my fleeting, but highly smile-enducing, five minutes of kind-of fame (the next best thing to actual fame). It’s a great piece on how fab it is to be indie, hope you enjoy reading it (go on, you know you want to click the link).

I’ve Been Tagged! U Got “The Look”

As the friend who tagged me, Tonya Cannariato wrote, Justin wrote, “The Look is a writing prompt, a game, another tagging event. This is how U Got “The Look” works: you take your current manuscript, search for the word “look”, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Lastly, you tag 5 blogging authors who you think will be a good choice for the game.”

My work in progress is the sequel to Shadows of the Realm, the first book in The Circle of Talia fantasy series. I hope this isn’t giving any spoilers away, but what the hell? Why not? I’m only mid-way through writing chapter six, but it’s getting exciting and the characters are in a race against time. Shit is hitting the fan—well  it would if their world had fans, but it doesn’t—hmm, I digress. OK, I’ll stop rambling and give it to you kiddies. Danananaaaaa!

Agmunsten peered at the Dragon King. “So, Valdorryn, who would you rather upset—Queen Jazmonilly, or Drakon?”

            The Dragon King squinted his eyes. “How do you know it’s him, hmm? You weren’t alive during the Gormon War. How can you know?”

            Agmunsten clenched and unclenched his fists, “Bronwyn told me his name and when I questioned him, he all but admitted Drakon was involved. I have ways of knowing when people are telling the truth. Look, Valdorryn, I know this is hard for you to accept, that your God may have wanted one of your own killed. But if I’m right, what does that tell us?”

            Zim listened and knew where Agmunsten was headed. He remembered finding the spires hadn’t been charged properly, and Symbothial’s reaction when he confronted him. His colour returned, but it was with a sad voice he answered the Head Realmist. “My cousin betrayed us.” Zim turned to look at his father, “I know this is hard for you to believe. I didn’t want to think it either, but I can’t ignore the facts any longer. Symbothial wasn’t maintaining the spires properly. It was his job, and we all know how important it is. When I checked them a while ago, the rivers to three of the spires were blocked; more than enough to let any Gormons through. When I spoke to him, he acted like it wasn’t important.”

            “That’s not enough to condemn him. Maybe he was just being careless because we’ve been safe for so long; it’s easy to become complacent.” King Valdorryn’s voice trailed off as he lost the energy to make excuses. He had to admit there was only one decision he could make, and he was dreading having to explain this to his wife. 

Hmm, so who to tag? Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. The following people are all in the firing line. If you’ve done it before you get a reprieve:

Maria Savva

Jane Isaac

James Garcia Jnr

Charity Parkerson

Julie Elizabeth Powell

Ok guys. Ready. Set. Go!

Tweep Nation ep 36 – Drop Bears and Hippo Races Down Under

Wow! We’re up to episode 36. How did that happen? It’s just Ambie baby and I this week. Amber tells us a bit about her road trip and I say some silly stuff and make her laugh (unusual I know). Find out some of the weirdo things some foreigners think about Australia, the great land Down Under, and what is the unique skill Amber has when it comes to men? Hope you enjoy this week’s episode! If you don’t like to download off iTunes we are now located on Stitcher.

Amber & Dionne get the Giggles with Charity Parkerson

Serenity now! Amber was at our guest’s house for this Tweep Nation podcast and god it was hard work! It was like being the only sober person in the room or the only adult in a daycare centre *sigh*. I did survive, though, barely. Bobbi Jo popped in to keep me company for a few minutes—I wish she’d stayed. Listen in to hear what erotica writer, Charity Parkerson, is up to at the moment. Please forgive us for this podcast.