Wednesday, 30 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: Z is for ZIRDA

You are the female lead in my novel Tiger Gold - The Strikemasters. Tell my readers a little about yourself.
Well, my name is Zirda Thanah and the story starts where I am a student studying graphic and industrial design, when my parents and my unborn brother were killed. They were murdered. If it hadn't been for my friends Denise, and Mr T I would have gone crazy. But they supported me through this difficult time.
I now work for a company, called Placing Boxes Design, where I am an aircraft and transporter interior designer. I love my job. The challenge of interpreting a client's vision for his transporters and then seeing them implemented is a very good feeling.
I don't have many friends, and Susan is my best friend and also my colleague. Mr T is a constant companion and presence in my mind, but someday I hope to meet him face-to-face.

How did you feel when you realised you were blind after the attack?
I was scared and confused since I couldn't remember what happened. My blindness baffled the physician since there was no damage to my eyes. I had a suspicion that it had to do with the fact that I couldn't remember the attack.

And for the rest of the story, you will have to wait until it's published :) 

Thank you for joining me on this A to Z Blog Challenge in April. I trust that you had learned a little more about me and I hope to see you again very soon!

All the best,

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: Y is for YOKE

Yoke and Yolk are Homophones. Words that sound the same but have different meanings. Instead of making a list or a lesson about homonyms, homographs, heteronyms, polysemes or capitonyms, why not a bit of tongue in cheek about some of these?

But if you want to learn more, you can click here :)

Enjoy the word play!

Monday, 28 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: X is for XA'AN

Akan Village on planet Xa'an
Xa'an is the place where everything began. Where Géra and his best friend, Ta'an grew up and got into typical boy trouble on the Ville estate.
The forest bordering Akan where they met T'ara when she got lost as a child.
The place where they had formed friendships that would last a lifetime.
A planet when a young Elizabeth was convinced by her cousins, Géra and Stefan, that snakes were not dangerous at all. Only to find out much later that her abilities would always draw the reptiles to her, without any threat to her life.
On the outskirts of the city of Ikea where the cousins would ride horses and swim in the river and live the carefree existence of the young - uncaring and unknowing of the destinies that awaited them all.
Xa'an, a planet destined to produce a wise young Grandmaster - to live through wars, defended by powerful dragons and warrior magicians. A planet that saw, and will see, sacrifices so big, and love so true, that in itself it might just be enough to safeguard its future.

Pinterest Storyboard of  Keeper of the Dragon Sword

Saturday, 26 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: W is for WORDS

They comprise of a group of symbols we call alphabet letters. We assemble them in a larger group, and call it a sentence. Then a collection of sentences become a paragraph. And so it grows until you have a short story or novel. An article or a memoir. So we speak, we write and text, with the singular form of code: we call them words.

So how many words are there in English?
And which word is the most recognisable word on the planet?

English is not my native language, so I am learning new ones almost every day. The newest addition to my vocabulary: escutcheons (Courtesy of The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun)

Which is the most recent new word you have learned?

Friday, 25 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: V is for VACILLATE

What is a mind if you cannot change it? A butcher. A baker. A candlestick maker? An engineer or an architect? With every character I write, I epitomize the very core of it. Today a construction worker, tomorrow a pilot. Am I constantly changing my mind? Of course I do.
Step into my office and take up the mantle and listen to the voices that are crying out - I am the creator of worlds, the destroyer of galaxies, the cupid of all the happily-ever-afters.
See me: the lover, the conqueror, the hero, the weaver of tales dark and desirable - I am the writer...and you better start running!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: U is for USEFUL Links

I might have mentioned this before, so please forgive me rehashing this one :)

I am in the process of developing a course for indie authors to help them learn about all things indie - except the writing itself. With many creative writing courses out there, and good ones too, there is no need for me to reinvent the wheel. Developing a course takes a lot of time and research to ensure that the information shared is not only relevant, but actually useful to the student.
Here are some of the useful links that I found and will be sharing and/or using in my course.
What it means to be a writer
Writing Advice

If you found a blog or website particularly useful, why not add it in the comments, then I can look into including it in my course to share it with all the students - thank you!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: T is for TWITTER

As the end of April approaches, I find myself “all a freakin' twitter” with nervous energy. The publication date of our group's anthology is coming closer with the speed of white light. At least that is what it feels like.
Was it only yesterday that I came up with the idea? Time certainly flew by and very soon our stories will be out there for people to read and hopefully enjoy. Of course there is printing to arrange for the paperbacks and a venue to finalise for the launch and hours of marketing still ahead.
But being the kind of person I am, I have already been looking towards the future. What will be in stall for the Pretoria Writers' Group in 2015? Another anthology? Maybe a series? Who knows.
There are baby plans in the making (for some members), work issues for others and then there are the invariable normal life issues that crop up. As always we each decide our priorities and devote our scarcest resource, time, accordingly.
On that note maybe T should have been for Time,  Touchdown or Transmogrified instead :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: S is for STORM

A storm? It is the theme for our writers' group's upcoming short story anthology. Instead of blabbering about it, yet again, this post is a teaser for the interviews of my fellow authors in the project.

Mark those days on your calender, because there is a storm coming, and nothing will be the same again!

3 May - Interview Richard T Wheeler
4 May - Cover reveal STORM Volume I
5 May - Cover reveal STORM Volume II
6 May - Interview Carmen Botman 
11 to 24 May - Blog tour (host blogs promoted)
4 June - Interview Charmain Lines
7 June - Interview Natalie Rivener
10 June - Interview Vanessa Wright

Both Volumes will be published on Smashwords in ebook formats suitable for all e-readers and mobile devices.

Monday, 21 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: R is for REVIEWS

Do you love books? Fiction? Non-fiction? Did you know that by leaving a review for the author will not only help the author, but will also tell other readers about the book?
I am guilty of the sin of reading many books but not formally reviewing enough of them. As a published author I need reviews on my books, and have been taking mental notes while reading to do exactly do that more often.
So how do you review a book? Here are a few tips to help you out.
And while I am on the subject - our writers' group anthology will be published in June 2014, and we are asking for 50 people to volunteer to review for us. We have had people already asking for the ARC (advance review copy) but there are more copies available. Please let me know if you are interested. You can read more about the anthology and how to contact us here.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: Q is for QUESTIONS

Linzé holding katana
I have blabbered a lot about me and things that I like to do in this April Challenge, but for the letter Q you might like to ask other things.

But be warned – I am going to ask right back! ;)

Friday, 18 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: P is for PLUS 1

On this day, 18 April 2014, I can claim to be married for twenty years, 16 days, and no, I have no idea how many hours. It is actually quite amazing that I had remembered the date for this post. Yep, my husband is the one that remembers dates, I am useless when it comes to these things. I am good with numbers, but not dates.
Hopefully hubby won't mind being a Plus 1 for a few moments, so let me tell you a bit about him. His name is Francois Venter and he is an engineer too. We went to the same high school, but didn't date back then since we are not the same age (I am two years older). We started dating at university and got married in the week that he had a birthday and got his degree – trust me, it was a real busy week that year!
We worked together for the first few years of our marriage, we shared an office with two other engineers, before our careers started diverging. He still works as an engineer, while I branched out into consulting and project management.
His passion is photography, and he is very good. Biased am I? Maybe, but the awards, red ribbons and medals that hang on the walls in my living room, all agree with me on that score. You can see some of his photographs here.
The funniest thing is however the two of us going to the shops, typically on a Friday evening after work, to stock up for the next week. We would traverse the isles - him pushing the trolley, me picking out food – and then we would whine and complain and chat about our workday. I mean who doesn't do that?
The two of us however, talk about weapons and bombs and explosives and firing trials and stuff like that. Since I work in the military industry, and he works at a commercial company that designs and manufactures detonators and blasting equipment for mines, our talks are normal – for us.
For everyone else shopping with us, it might sound like we are planning the end of the world. It is really funny watching people's faces if they overhear our conversations. Of course, we don't talk about classified things – commercial companies have those too – but it remains a treat. We vent on each other's shoulders, and our audience, well, who knows what they are thinking?
Who is going to win the rugby on Saturday? Probably :)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: O is for OBSIDIAN

Image Pinterest
Obsidian is a shiny, black piece of volcanic rock. I chose this for my O post in the Challenge because I have recently read a book by my favourite author, Nalini Singh. The title is Heart of Obsidian and I have once again confirmed her as my favourite.
The story is part of a series, but I am not going to go into those details. Heart of Obsidian is the story of Councillor Caleb Krychek. You meet him in some of the earlier books, and no, he is not a nice guy. In fact you believe him to be the worst of the worst by the time you get to this book.
And no, he doesn't suddenly become this cute guy that likes teddy bears and plays nice with the kids. The author never deviates from the character established in earlier books and that is one of the things I loved about the story.
But can bad guys be misunderstood? What motivates him? What drives him to do the things he did? Can someone like him find love?
If you like paranormal romance this Psy-Changeling series might be right up your alley. And Heart of Obsidian? I loved the story because it delved into the deepest darkest recesses of the human (Psy?) mind to find the one thing that can, and sometimes will, motivate us to commit murder.
It is not a pretty and fluffy hero story, but it was different and an out-of-the-box romance. If you read as many romance books as I do, you will find this story unusual for the genre. I couldn't put it down and sacrificed many hours of sleep to find out if Caleb could find love before it was too late.
My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: N is for NANOWRIMO

April and July presents the opportunity for anyone who wishes to write a novel to 'practice' for the main event in November each year.
CampNaNoWriMo as the events in April and July are known, differ slightly from NaNoWriMo in that you can set your own target with a minimum of 10,000 words. It might sound like a lot but if you break it down into a daily target, it is an easier target. How difficult can it be to write 10,000/30 = 333.3 words (okay, make it 334) every day for 30 days?
The benefit is that you get into the habit of writing, you can plan to write everyday and if you get ahead of your target (which is always recommended) there is less pressure when the dreaded deadline looms.
And these events are fun. There are local groups and online groups and the best thing of all is the support given by everyone taking part.
Not a novel writer? Why not write a collection of short stories? I have found that a Plan B, the short stories, is an excellent way of writing for this challenge. You never know what ideas might crop up that could be explored in a novel.

My work schedule is especially nightmarish this year, but the one thing that I add to my calender on January1st, is NaNoWriMo - and Camp is the best preparation there is.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: M is for MY LIFE STORY

I bought a book a while back, with the title on the cover, My Life Story. No, it is not a novel or a self-help book, it is a blank journal that you can use to life story.
It has enough pages for 100 years of your life and the manufacturer of the book states that if you have filled this one up, they will give you a new one for free. Ha, I don't know how many people live past a hundred years, but it is a nice sentiment I suppose.
I bought mine when I was in my forties already, so there is a lot of my life that still needs to be penned down. The hard part is what do I include and what is way too boring to even mention. And the most important question: when am I going to find the time to write the details of the years before I bought it?
To alleviate some of this problem, I decided to stick to my adult life. My childhood was fairly normal, and happy. Where I recall a particularly happy or memorable event, I could always pen that. Wasting pages of paper just to say that I passed this grade or read that book, would really be dull anyway. Not that I can remember every single book I have ever read in my life.
I even bought special lightweight sketchbook for a drawing or two for this book, since it has a blank page for every year for a photo. I don't have many photographs of myself, being a bit camera shy and all that. The drawings will also serve a double purpose to alleviate the urge to create - for the artist in me.

Have you considered writing your life story, even if it is only for your own family?

Monday, 14 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: L is for LETTUCE

This underrated vegetable deserves more attention than the afterthought slash limp leaf
decorating the corner of our dinner plates. It is a low fat and low cholesterol food, containing essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
A few years' ago I had read an article that said lettuce contains a trace amount of arsenic. My friends used to joke that I am probably the only person alive that will die of natural arsenic poisoning, because I do love my lettuce. Fortunately, I doubt that I will ever eat so much of it that it would pose any risk to my health. I like other foods way too much to ever live on lettuce alone.
In the meantime I have done a little more research and found out that the levels of arsenic in lettuce is about the same as for any other vegetable. The levels in the vegetable depends on the levels found in the soil where it is farmed. It is not unique to lettuce.
Since arsenic can be harmful, soil levels are monitored where necessary.

So here is to many more years of BLT samies!

Please tell me I am not only one that thinks that lettuce is more than rabbit food!


Saturday, 12 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: K is for KRYANE

Image from Pinterest
Also taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo during April, I am working on finishing the first draft of my third novel in the Nations of Peace Series, Michael's Mystery. It is also the second Grandmaster story of the series.
Michael is sent to investigate a series of serial murders that took place in KEEPER OFTHE DRAGON SWORD. His bosses, the Lords of the High Council, sent him to Kryane to find out what motivated these horrifying murders and to help bring the responsible person to justice.
Unlike Xa'an - the planet where GERA'S GIFT and KEEPER OF THE DRAGON SWORD took place, Kryane is mostly a desert.
The planet is divided into four continents: Kyrja (the largest), Ananla, Prochi and Lirtyni (the smallest). The four continents are surrounded by two oceans, both of them very cold and only supporting a limited number of species of sea creatures. The ice caps are frozen solid and the prevailing winds make them uninhabitable to mammalian life forms.
During his investigation Michael finds himself trapped with Andesine in a sandstorm and he learns that life in a desert environment is more challenging than he realised. The inhabitants of the village of Amer guard their water supply jealously. The villagers also grow their own food, but to enable them to do that they have to work in greenhouses that can also be hazardous to them because of the heat.
But these are people adapted to living in a desert. The fabrics and styles of their clothing suit their environment. They are prepared for sandstorms, but are not lax when it comes to cleaning up afterwards. The villagers living in Amer appreciate and support each other as their lives invariably depend on it.

Now only if Andesine was so easy to figure out. What are the secrets hiding behind those red eyes and how much does she really know about the murders?

Friday, 11 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: J is for JOURNAL

If you had browsed my blog, you would have noticed the tab, Linzé's Mischief. It is public journal where I write about things happening in my life. April aside, where I undertook to add more of me into my blog posts, the journal is just a way for me to express (read whine) myself about the stuff in my life.
I do have a private journal (not sharing that, ever!) and a writing journal. My private journal is online (I use the paid version of Penzu, with the full encryption suite) while my writers' journal is something I write by hand. I find that having at least one paper journal helps to satisfy my creative urge to write with a fountain pen, or a quill - depending where I am at the time. Quills and ink are not as mobile as a fountain pen
A while back I started a group journal for my writers' group where the members each have an opportunity to write a little something about their experiences in the group and the projects that we undertake together. As group leader, I also note the names of the members, add new names and note names of members that have left the group.
A thought struck me about four weeks ago: why not write a diary for a character in one of my books? A character from a series or a bundle - to allow for some time frame of experiences.
As someone who cannot resist a stationary or book shop, I have a large collection of blank journals. I dusted one off, and started writing.
It already allowed me to "see" into the mind of the character and I get to understand her better. She is Alice, and she is the female lead in an erotica series where the stories have to be read in a specific order. And in case you are wondering, yes, some of her fantasies are part of the journal, and they are enacted in the still-to-be-published books. I haven't decided on the time frame yet, but I am not letting that stop me from exploring this new tool in my creative writing arsenal.

Do you keep any journals? I have found that even my private journal helps my creative projects. What are your experiences?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

AtoZ Challenge: I is for INTERVIEW

Interviews of my fellow writers are coming up in May and June as part of our launch of the STORM anthology. They are Carmen Botman, Richard T Wheeler, Charmain Lines, Natalie Rivener, and Vanessa Wright.

If you like to ask a question I will ask each of them to answer in return - add it to the comments please. Hint: you can be as creative as you like, we are an out-of-the-box kind of group

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: H is for HOBBIES

Most creative people, at least the ones I know, do more than one creative activity. Writers paint or knit or take photographs. I am the same. I like to paint abstracts in acrylics, and
Cleo's Collar by Linze Brandon
have recently discovered the pleasures of oil painting. My latest canvas is 60" by 20" and was inspired by a book I bought with the lead glass window designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
I also dabble in counted cross-stitch, where I prefer patterns of 20,000 stitches or more. Even designed my own pattern or two upon occasion.
The weirdest thing I do is to decorate my writer's journal. I keep personal journals online (with serious encryption for privacy) but let out my need to "sticker" and draw in my writing journal. I have also seemed to inspire at least two of my writers' group members to start doing the same.
My non-creative hobbies include fly-fishing. I mastered the technique in minutes, and have been known to catch a trout or two. It is not something that I get to do very often, but there was a promise made that Hubby will book us a weekend break in trout season, and then I can go indulge this need of mine to cast a line. He prefers to take photographs, but the scenery is so beautiful that I don't blame him if he spends most of his time with his camera instead of his fishing pole.
I also like archery. I don't do it competitively, only socially, if there is such a thing. I like the discipline and enjoy spending hours shooting arrows in our back yard with my compound bow. Yes, it is a weapon and the arrows I use can inflict fatal wounds, but safety is always of primary concern. So much so that I have trained my dogs to always remain within my line of sight, but not in the direction in which I am shooting the arrows.
I have shot arrows at water-filled balloons and big red apples for my husband and the resulting photographs were rather spectacular.
I am also a Manchester United football fan, but have not had much time to watch any games this season. As captain of a Superbru group of fans, The Broomstick Gang, I like to think I know my game, but so far this season, my team has not been playing up to expectation. Maybe next season?

Do you like sports? Do you have any non-creative hobbies? I like these activities for relaxation only, but have had a moment or two of inspiration for a story. Does this happen to you?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: G is for GUEST Post

All the guru's tell you that guest posting on other people's blogs is a good idea to grow your exposure - build your audience (if I may use the buzz words). While I like for other people to have a good word or two on my blog, I am rather hesitant to spread my words all over other people's blogs.
Am I shy? No, quite the opposite. The reason has to do with the masses upon masses of information in cyberspace. Why keep on repeating the same stuff over and over, and many times it is not even re-packaged to be better?
But when I am offered such an opportunity, I would rather share a lesson learned. Some lessons come at a high price. Where I as an indie author can save another or aspiring author, time, money or prevent a mistake due to ignorance, it is time and words well spent.

See my latest lesson learned and backup plans for STORM, a project of the Pretoria Writers' Group coming in June.

If you would like to be a guest on my blog, I have a theme of TIME MANAGEMENT this year. Please contact my by leaving a comment here, on a message on Twitter (please use #LinzeB in the tweet) or Facebook.

I would love to have your perception, tips and tales on this very important topic in any person's life.

Monday, 7 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: F is for FAVOURITES

When I made a list of my A to Z Blog Challenge posts, I promised to add a more personal flavour to my blog. So here is a list of some of my favourites:
  • Coffee: We all like coffee (it is as essential as oxygen to a writer) but my favourite is
    what we call an Americano here. It is known as a Tall Black in other countries. Yip, espresso topped with hot water. I drink it at home too - simply can't live without the stuff! 
  • Vegetable: Ha, you didn't expect this one, did you? As a child I was a fussy eater, to my Mother's biggest frustration. No amount of bribing could convince me to eat veggies I didn't like...ever. But as a child and to this day, my favourite veggie is lettuce. All of the varieties, sweet to bitter - love 'em all! And am I still so fussy? Not at all. As a student I realised that I had nothing against the vegetables at all, I just hated them because of the ways they were cooked back then. When my Mother changed that (and she is a great cook, by the way) I converted with a smile.
  • Colours: My favourite colour is black. I wear black, sometimes with a splash of something else, more than 90% of the time. The only time when I divert from that, is for a practical reason: my job requires spending time in one of the hottest parts of South Africa, and then my black clothing stays home.
    My second favourite colour is purple. I get ribbed about that one quite often, since I had my hair coloured purple and blue. Which reminds me, it is time for another touch up.

What are you favourites? Favourite food, your all time number one spice to cook with, and kick-back to relax alcoholic beverage?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Voice Recognition Software and I: Part 3

As promised here is Part 3 of my experiences using voice recognition software (Links to Part 1 and Part 2). At first I thought it was going to be easy, I write therefore I can dictate, right? Wrong. I might be the exception, but making the transition from typing to dictating took longer than I thought.
For one I am not a talker, meaning that I am not overly fond of hearing my own voice the whole time. It took some getting used to, and it was easier when I was alone at home. Once I got more comfortable with that stage, I could continue doing it when my husband was home. Weird I know, especially since I have been married to him for twenty years. But then again human behaviour in unusual situations can be unpredictable.
Contrary to how it might sound, it took me only about three days to overcome that hurdle, so the writing flowed much easier by then.
Then came the scenes with intimacy, and that is not just sex writing. Extreme intimacy can be emotional and I have found that I get so involved with my characters that I cannot dictate these words fluently.
Since I also write erotica and the kind of language that can be associated with that, can be difficult too. It slows down the flow of words where I had to spell words not in the software's dictionary. So I decided to type the words for those kind of scenes. Fortunately, in erotic romance stories there are fewer sex scenes than people think.
The last and most difficult thing that I had to learn was “writing” while talking. I can think and plot and visualise my words while I type. It had been a big hurdle to overcome to do the same while dictating. It is still not an easy thing to do, and the software makes mistakes because of the way that I dictate as a result.
It takes a lot of practice to use voice recognition software and I will need to get back into it from the start, since my preferred writing computer has been out of commission for several weeks now. I have an old notebook that I have been using, and it is perfect for type writing, if you will excuse the pun, but it is not sufficient for the software.
If you decide to try out voice recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking or any other, do allow yourself the time to learn to use it properly. Find your groove with dictation by being patient with the computer, it is truly only a dumb machine. Also be patient with yourself and you will not be sorry when the words start flowing by at least double your normal word count targets for the day.
I can type about a thousand words per hour, but with DNS I upped that to 2500 without any additional effort, after I did the training of course :)

I am happy with using Dragon Naturally Speaking and will recommend it to anyone who wishes to write by means of dictation.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: E is for EMAIL Subscription

If you are like most of us these days, you are very selective when subscribing to any email
Image: Pinterest
list. And if you do there is either something you get for free, or you like what the host is telling you. I can already hear you thinking, what kind of freebie will be offered, or epiphany am I going to tell to you about to get your attention, and get you to subscribe--the answer is...neither.

There are many people out there offering all kinds of advice, or something like a free e-book to get your subscription, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are happy with your subscriptions and you have the time to read the ones popping into your inbox, then keep them and read them, otherwise why waste your time?
As you might know April is also the time for Camp NaNoWriMo and I am working to finish the first draft of my third novel, Michael's Mystery. While it is still an incomplete first draft, ie full of plot gaps and grammatical errors, I will let you in on sneak previews of what is to come, hopefully later this year.
You can read such a scene here and if you want to feast your eyes on more to come, now would be a good time to subscribe to my mailing list. And no, there won't be daily emails, neither weekly or even monthly. I have other projects going on as well, and respect that your time is as valuable to you as mine is to me.

What is the mystery that has Michael so intrigued that he remains on Kryane even after the court case?

Friday, 4 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: D is for DREAMS

My post today is not for the kind of dreams that we have in repose, but for those we have
awake. Daydreams, dreams of the future, dreams of what we wish to become. Even animals dream, but what distinguishes us from our furry or aquatic friends, is the ability to dream of what we want to be.
Of course, we cannot become birds flying about in the sky, but dreaming about it, made flight possible. We became...more.
In dreams we overcome our limitations, it is then up to our desire to make it happen. To be the more that we dream about. Whether it is to be a painter, a sculptor, a writer, a pilot or a teacher.
Our successes in achieving these dreams come with our commitment to make it happen. Our sacrifices, some big, some small, to do the time will determine our level of achievement.
How do you define success? Fame? Money? Recognition?
Do I see myself as a Nobel laureate? Hey, that would be nice, but that is not what I need to be happy as a writer.
I write, therefor I am a writer; therefor I am happy.
I do not write full-time, reality dictates that I have financial obligations that needs to be attended to, but I make the time for my dream. What I sacrifice to make it happen, is what makes it worthwhile. That is how I define success.

You can read more about my dream - Chasing the Dream

Do you still chase your dreams?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: C is for COURSE

Fiction writing is my passion, but to some extend so is teaching. For a long time I didn't realise that it was exactly what I had been doing when I worked as a consultant - I taught people the requirements for exporting their products.
In case you were wondering, I would make a terrible school teacher, but sharing knowledge, that is a different story altogether.
Last year I wrote non-fiction for NaNoWriMo in November, and found it more difficult than fiction writing for that particular challenge. My project is the development of a Course for Indie Writers, that includes everything except writing. There are many local and international courses on creative writing and another is definitely not needed.
The course is aimed at the South African indie author, because the stigma of "traditional is better than indie", is very much alive and kicking in this country. Sad but true.
With the exception of one or two small details, the course can pretty much be used anywhere. The manual for the course will be published to be more accessible to a wider audience, but it is still aimed as part of a three day face-to-face interaction.
I have learned loads of things on my journey as an indie author, and hope to keep learning more.

If you have any pearls of wisdom, or useful links, to share, please do not hesitate to add them to the comments.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: B is for BLOGGING

Of all the possible B's that I could have chosen, biography, bomb or broken heart, blogging was the first that came to mind.
Twitter recently celebrated its eighth year in existence by asking people to re-tweet their
very first tweet. It was fun to see that at least my first was worth another RT ;)
So I had a look at my first blog post (you can see it here) and tried to recall where the name Butterfly on a Broomstick came from, and to be honest, I don't think there was ever a reason for the name. It just popped into my head and it stayed. In fact, I like it more now than I did when I came up with it!
I like the idea of promoting other people's books. Not that I have the time to read them all, which is a real shame since I love reading. My own reading list today is more than a hundred books long, paperbacks and e-books. Sounds terrifying even to me, then again I can't wait to read the next one.
I don't often post reviews, but when I do it is because I really liked a book. I love romance and it takes a really special story to get me out of my normal routine to write a review. There is one coming soon - a romance that was the complete opposite of what you would expect - and I love those.
I do share some personal experiences from time to time, but keep the private stuff, private. Is my life that interesting that people would want to know every single detail? I doubt it, so I keep to the things that could be considered interesting, such as parts of my country that I travel to that are not part of the regular tourist beat.
I am still working on convincing my husband to drive, instead of fly, to our annual holiday destination this year. Why? Because I have never been to the country and would like to see some parts of it besides the nature reserve where we will be going on a photographic safari. Which reminds me, I really need to get my passport renewed.

Which blog(s) have you found to be the most inspirational or useful to you? Please share the link in the comments, it might just be the site that someone has been searching for ☻

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

AtoZ Blog Challenge: A is for ANTHOLOGY

I can almost hear you roll your eyes, when you saw the word anthology, since I have been going on and on about this project of our writers' group launching in June this year.
And when I came up with the idea for the letter 'A', that was exactly what I had in mind. However, when I sat down to write this post, something else came to mind. In fact, for the purpose of this post, A stands for Friends.
I am not the kind of person that makes friends easily, nor do I go around accumulating thousands of friends on Facebook. Maybe I am not as likeable as I think I am - no, I wasn't fishing. What I am trying to say is that a writers' group can be more than just people with a common interest. We do not have to live in each others' pockets, but we can do things. We can create things. And we can create together.

Enter the anthology.
As enthusiastic as I was when I came up with the idea, there had been hurdles to overcome. Big ones and small ones, and writing ones too. But we did. We pulled together, and the passion we have for writing, and the project is increasing.
Yes, the stories are done. Yes, we are in the process of final formatting for e-book and print publication, but it is not the end. There is marketing to be done, and books to be promoted and launches to be arranged. And we are working towards doing that. Together.
In May I will introduce you to each of my awesome friends. Guess what? We wrote a book together. It is called STORM and it will be available soon.

Do you like to read? Do you support indie authors? Why not help us tell the world about STORM. Check out the details and join in the

The CreativeLife in review - planning, time management, and the creative life

  Hey there, creative friend! It's been a week or more since my last post but mostly because I have been taking time to do other things....