Monday, July 30, 2012

300th Post! Awards and More

This is my 300th post!  I can't believe it.  I'm a little surprised I still have things to write about.  When I started this blog back in May of 2010, I was hoping to create a place of inspiration. A little sanctuary that would inspire me to dig deeper, write more often, to follow my dreams in the face of criticism and maybe encourage others to do the same.

I never imagined that I could gain so many friends and supporters all over the world.  I'm humbled by all of the very talented writers who give their time to help and support others.  I'm not sure that I've helped inspire anyone else but I'm grateful for all that I have gained from blogging.  I only hope I can give back more than I've taken.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along this crazy blogging adventure.


Jess from Write Skate Dream is being interviewed over at T.Z. Wallace's some time today.  And  DL Hammons has Round 1 of the WRiTE CLUB match posted. Check it out and sign up if you want to vote or join in on the fights.  This is going to be an exciting contest I can tell already!

On to Awards

Kendra over at Flame Writer awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award and Alyssa at Life is Good gave me the Fabulous Blog Ribbon.  Thank you so much ladies.      

The Rules for Versatile Blogger are:
1. Thank and link back to person who gave you award
2. List the rules
3. List seven random facts about yourself
4. Nominate 10 people for the award and notify them

The Rules for Fabulous Blog Ribbon are:
1. Post the rules
2. Name five of your most fabulous moments in real life or in the blogosphere
3. Name five things you love
4. Name five things you hate
5. Pass it to five other bloggers

For the sake of brevity, I'm going to combine my answers.

Most fabulous moments:
1. Marrying my wonderful husband
2. Birth of my 3 children
3. Standing in front of the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Things I love:
4. Traveling with my family
5. The cool breeze in my face when I'm skating
6. Music of almost any kind, not too thrilled with jazz though
7. Snowflakes

I don't really hate anything except injustice.

And here are the wonderful bloggers who I'm awarding.  Feel free to choose the award you want or pick them both, because you deserve them!

 Doctor Faerie Godmother
Alyssa Rose Ivy
Sally's Scribbles
Journal of a Bookworm

Have a great week!

Kathy :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thanks! and Phantom

First of all I would like to thank everyone who stopped by earlier this week to check out Denise Covey's interview.  Everyone had such wonderful comments.  You guys are great!  And thanks Denise, it was lovely getting to know you better! Don't forget to check out her Romantic Friday Writers

On to the Phantom
I love Phantom of the Opera!  When it came out 25 years ago, I was enchanted by both the story and the music.  I would listen to the cds over and over again in my room, probably driving my mom bonkers. But she let me do it anyway.  Thanks Mom!

Last night we watched on Netflix the 25th anniversary special of the Phantom at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  It was a spectacular production of the entire musical filmed at a live performance.  The cast was filled with top performers and the sets were fabulous.

If you like Phantom, I highly recommend this version.


 DL Hammons is hosting WRiTE CLUB, but were not supposed to talk about it so go check out his blog for all the info and sign up!

Hope your week is going great!

Kathy :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Interview with Denise Covey

Knocking on Hemingway's door in Paris
Today I have the pleasure of introducing Denise Covey, one of the winners of the Knights of MicroFiction.  She has three fabulous blogs you should check out, L'Aussie Writer, Pichets in Paris, and Romantic Friday Writers, but first let's learn a little bit more about Denise.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

At a very early age. I began winning writing competitions when I was eleven. Then as I got older I kept thinking I didn't have enough life experience to write anything worthy, so I went out to get it. University degrees, Creative Writing courses, High School teaching...travelling. I started novels, researched novels, but always felt too immature to tackle the issues I wanted to write about. It's only in the last few years that I've wanted more from my writing than writing flash fiction online, and short stories, travel articles and profile pieces for magazines and newspapers.

Hmm, I still feel too immature.
I know you love to travel, what is the most amazing place you've ever visited?

Ah, that is a hard one. My favourite country to visit is France (have been there countless times!), but the most amazing place I've ever visited is Morocco. It is so different from our slick culture. It's like living in Biblical times with produce being moved around by donkeys, hurried along by men in jallabas waving sticks. The medinas, where the Muslims live, can house up to 20,000 people, and are endlessly fascinating to visit (accompanied by an Arab guide, I suggest.) Riding camels in the Sahara Desert, driving through the Sahara following the old Caravan route through the mountains, seeing oases over 80 kilometres long, and poking around abandoned red mud casbahs was like turning the pages of some of my favourite books - The Moor of Marrakech and such and songs like Marrakech Express.

At the highest point of the Sahara Desert in Morocco with my Toureg guides
Wow that sounds fabulous. I would love to ride a camel through the Sahara.  
I'm sure all your travels give you plenty of ideas to write about, but what inspires you the most?  

That would be 'who'. People. I don't just thirst for travel just to see different things. Meeting the locals is my favourite part. But the more countries I visit, the more people I meet, I understand that humans are basically the same with similar needs and aspirations. Landscapes inspire me. Literature inspires me. I find life inspirational.

Beautiful sentiments.
I see you have a couple novels in progress. Which one do you spend most of your time on? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes, I have three novel in progress. I had to decide which one to finish first or I'll never finish any of them, so I've chosen my first novel, Ruby. All my novels include other cultures, issues, and things I've learned from my travels. Ruby is a contemporary romantic novel whose heroine is a young French girl who has come to Australia to follow her dream of owning her own hotel, a dream inherited from her father. The hero, Michael is an Australian sea captain who takes tourists whale watching, but his dream is to assist in the whale hunt, but on the side of the Sea Shepherd crew, whose aim is to inhibit the Japanese whalers in Antarctica. Conflicting dreams make this story. 

What a great way to share your experiences. It sounds like a wonderful story. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Speaking of reading, what books have influenced you the most?

My favourite genre is literary fiction, but my tastes are eclectic. I love to read just about anything, really. As far as the most influential, Ernest Hemingway, Papa, has been my favourite since I moved beyond Heidi as a young girl. Maybe Hemingway's stories fed my urge to travel and my tendency to observe people. (I wasn't influenced by his hard drinking, lol!) 

That's good! He did love his drink.

Last year I finally got to Pamplona in Spain, where he set his The Sun Also Rises. Can't explain the thrill of seeing the things he saw. I even blogged about a walking tour around Paris I took, Moveable Feast in hand, to see his Paris apartment and the square where he liked to eat and the coffee shops where he went to drink rum. I think the best writing advice ever, comes from Hemingway - write all morning, then go and rub shoulders with authors and people watch all afternoon and night. Read his Moveable Feast for that and other writing gems.

I just finished A Farewell to Arms, but I'll have to add A Moveable Feast to my list. I wonder if blogging counts as 'rubbing shoulders with authors'.
You have three great blogs. How long have you been blogging and what is the best part about it?

I started blogging in 2007 when I saw a competition for the best travel blog post. Five years is a long time in the blogosphere, where bloggers burn out in an average of three years or decide other social networking groups are more efficient. But blogging is my favourite, although it's very time consuming. 

I agree with you, I'd rather spend my time blogging than on Facebook or Twitter.

The best part of blogging is the people I've met and the things I've learnt about writing. Knowing how I love to travel, I have invitations from bloggers from all around the world to come and stay. Who can beat that? Currently I'm spending 6 weeks in Fiji, courtesy of blogger Nas Dean, who I met online years ago and formed a strong blogger friendship. Another favourite blogger, Charmaine Clancy, recently moved to my hometown, Brisbane, and we've hit it off so well we now have our own Writing Group and are collaborating on our first epic fantasy novel in between doing writing courses at the Queensland Writers Centre, the best one in the country. Can't beat the blogosphere!

That's for sure.
There are so many wonderful people blogging! 
But 6 weeks in Fiji! I'm a little jealous.  
What do you like to do when you're not writing or traveling?

I like to run, to read, try a new restaurant, go for coffee, watch television and movies, and spend time with family and friends. Pretty ordinary. That's when I'm not checking out Lonely Planet.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

Well, I'm a political animal and a news junkie but I usually keep quiet about that as in these PC times, you aren't supposed to talk about politics. I can probably blame Hemingway for nurturing my strong political opinions as he wrote so much about war. I especially enjoyed his novels that explored the Spanish Civil War. I always have the 24-hour news on at home, so I usually know what's going on in most places around the globe, or at least the sanitised version. No listening to music while I write! It's a wonder my stories aren't pessimistic, but they're not. I'm a very optimistic person.

You're also very inspiring. I can't wait to get out and travel again myself. Well we're out of time for today. Thank you Denise for stopping by, I really enjoyed getting to know you and good luck finishing Ruby.

Thanks so much.


SO that's it everyone. Be sure to check out all of Denise's blogs and stop by Jess's blog to see her interview with our other winner Ahsna Banga.

Kathy :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

KoMF Winners!

First of all Jess and I would like to thank everyone that participated this time.  We had a number of great entries that were a lot of fun to read.  After much deliberation we have chosen....

Denise Covey and Ashna Banga!  Congratulations ladies!

Head on over and tell them "Hi".
As a prize, Jess and I will be featuring them on our blogs in the coming days so make sure to stop by later this week.


In other news, I took all the advice you guys gave me on my last IWSG post and dove right back into my WIP.  I'm happy to say that after a couple difficult days I was able to get back into the groove and just yesterday I hit 60,000 words!  YIPPEEE!  It's not finished yet, but now the finish line is within reach.  Thanks so much for all your encouraging words and support.  You guys are awesome!

Kathy :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Key -KoMF

Hope you're having a great weekend.  Today is the 15th so it's time to post your entry for the Knights of MicroFiction prompt.

Here's the prompt again:
Write a flash fiction in 200 words or less, using the phrase: the sky darkened.
For an added challenge, include a sound that surprises one of your characters and a foul smell.

For my entry I used characters from my YA fantasy WIP, currently called The Hidden Truth.    

Here it is at 200 words exactly:

The Key

The sky darkened and only the silver light of our two moons illuminated the river ahead.  Beneath us the ground trembled and pits of boiling mud splattered their contents like an artist throwing paint on canvas. 
                "Is this it?" I asked.
                "Legend says, 'Find what you seek where the boiling river fans the flames .' Here's the river," Shen said his green eyes meeting mine.
                "That doesn't make any sense," Sanjo said.  "Water puts out fires."
                Ignoring Sanjo, I gazed at Shen, I could get lost in his eyes. "Do you think this will work?"
                "It has to," he replied.   
                "I’m  not sure I believe the legends." 
                "We have to try, Nakyte."  His hand brushed my cheek, "there is too much at stake."
                "Guys,  I hate to interrupt but do you smell that?"  Sanjo asked. 
                "Sulphur," I said, it's acrid stench burned my nose.
                A sudden explosion burst from the river and threw me to the ground.  I looked up and my jaw dropped open.  Boiling liquid spewed from the river like a geyser and singed the trees above it.  Their dark green leaves edged in golden flame.    
                "This is it," said Shen.  "This is where we'll find the key." 


Hope you enjoyed it!  Don't forget to check out all the other participants.  

  • Bonnee Crawford
  • Carrie-Anne
  • Ashna Banga
  • Sally
  • DeniseCovey_L_Aussie
  • Roland D. Yeomans
  • JP

  • Remember, there's still time to join in on the fun!  Just try to post before 11:59pm EST and comment on THIS POST with a link to your entry.  (If you're a little late, though, that's fine.  We'll still include you :)  )

    Jess and I will choose two winners by the 17th to be featured on our blogs.  

    Have fun and good luck! :)


    Friday, July 13, 2012

    KoMF Prompt

    Today is the 13th of the month which means, it's time to reveal the prompt for the Knights of MicroFiction!  It's a blog hop hosted by me and Jess on the 15th of every month (except April, because the A-Z Challenge makes things crazy!). We came up with it as a way to meet new friends, help build the blogging community and (hopefully) spark your creativity!

    To join in, just post your entry before the end of the 15th (midnight EST) and leave a comment on this post with your post link.  Then go check out as many entries as you can.  By the 17th we will choose two winners to be featured on our blogs. 

    Ok here it is:

    In 200 words or less write a flash fiction using the phrase:  The sky darkened...
    then for an added challenge include a sound that surprises one of your characters and a foul smell.

    Have fun!  I can't wait to read what you come up with! 

    Kathy :)

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Book Review

    Over my vacation I had lots of time to read.  One of the books I finished was, On Writing by Stephen King.  I've never read anything by him before.  I saw The Shining but was so scared by it I was afraid what I might find in his books.

    But this one was different.  No scary scenes in here except when he tells about being hit by a van in 1999.  

    The first part of the book gives some background of his life and then seamlessly moves on to his advice for writers.  He doesn't give a grammar lecture or long spiel about story arcs but he delivers a message that as writers we must use our accumulated experiences to craft fiction by telling the truth about ourselves and the world around us.  It's a great book filled with funny anecdotes and tips.  I recommend it to all writers.          

    And yes, now I'm going to read something else by him.  I've already checked out his latest book, 11/22/63, from the library. 

    What books have you read lately?  What's on your To Read list?

    Kathy :)

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    I'm Back!

    Jessica and Ryan enjoying sunset on the dock

    Despite the incredible heat, we had a wonderful 4th of July holiday!  

    It is a yearly family reunion. My husband's parents and mine, along with my younger brother and his family, join us at my 90 year old grandpa's cottage.  It's so nice that we all get along together and can simply enjoy one another's company.  
    The kids had a great time fishing, swimming, playing with their cousins, and eating lots of ice cream sandwiches.  A few of them always get together and put on some kind of performance.  This year they sang America the Beautiful and my son read the Preamble to the Constitution.  It was adorable. :)  

    My husband and I enjoyed sitting on the porch talking, reading, and having "who can stay on the float" contests in the water with the kids.  I think my husband won most of the time.

    All the kids trying to fit on one tube!
    We also went to see Wicked, which was fantastic!  And I finally got to see Thor, which I thought was great, (well maybe I just liked seeing Chris Hemsworth!).

    It has taken me a little while to get back to reality though, I think my brain may have melted in the 99 degree heat!  Thanks so much for all the great comments on my IWSG post.  I'll try to get to all of you as soon as possible.    

    What did you do over the holiday?

    Ryan checking out the minnow trap

    Kathy :)


    Tuesday, July 3, 2012


    It's the first week of the month which means the IWSG is here!  Because of the 4th of July holiday, I'm posting this on Tuesday instead of the usual Wednesday.  The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.  It's a place where we can get together and talk about our insecurities, fears and our successes and meet new friends in the process.  Thanks Alex!   Click here to find all the other participants, there's 310 of us!

    Here's mine this month.

    I took a couple weeks off writing my current WIP because I was deep in the middle of helping Jess edit and revise her novel Rise: From the Ashes.  I love helping her.  Not only am I honored that my almost 16 year old still wants my help, but I'm so proud of her and every time I read through her work I burst with motherly pride.
    But my problem is now that I'm done helping her, I seem to have lost the rhythm of writing mine.  I've stared at my screen and I try to get the words out...any words really, but the flow just isn't there.  Somehow I have to get my characters back in my head.
    I'm hoping, this week as I watch the sun rise over the misty lake, I will find them again.

    Have you ever lost your flow because of a break in your work? How did you recover?

    Kathy :)