Random work rant, with poetry

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Can’t stop the regrets, can’t stop the rantings,

Haven’t yet realised your tales keep changing.

You bitch and you moan, round and round again

If you talk enough, will something change then?

 

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Sure, back in the boom you might have been high,

But now it’s the bust, so we’ll scrounge to survive.

You whinge and complain, still working a job

Never sparing thought to those you have dobbed.

 

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Can’t you see there’s still so much to lose?

Stop wallowing here, stop drinking your booze!

I’m done giving pity, done fueling your bane,

So for goodness’ sake, can’t you just do the same?

 

This was inspired by a bloke I work with. He won’t stop lamenting about how much better things would be if he was running the show, like he almost was back in the boom. He can’t let go what might have been, even though the circumstances were out of his control. And it isn’t all bad – so many miners are out of work, and he’s still got a job. He forgets to be grateful for that – that he survived.

He keeps pretending like he has power at work, when he’s got none. No one wants to be bossed around, especially by someone who actually isn’t anyone’s boss.

Sometimes we just need to remember to be grateful, otherwise regret can destroy us. And how can we harbour regret for something we could not control? It doesn’t make sense but it happens all the time. We’ve all got to try to let go.

I’m not usually this harsh, but this guy really grates on me. Sometimes sympathy just seems to fuel the fire and hinder a person rather than help.

Haiku: Separation

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Ten minutes of peace

Walking down the graded path

Between the dry gums

Wary of snakes and

Annoyed by flies, violently

bombing my senses.

Still, this is relief

Leaving behind work troubles

The day is now done.

I need this to seal

the work day behind and savour

The small freedom gained. 

 

Mini Story: Lizzy

Lizzy always made sure not to be alone in the same room with him. She cleaned the bedrooms while he was engaged with daily outings. She dusted with her maid-in-arms, Old Jenny. Ironing was done en masse in the laundry, but she made certain to put it all away during dinner. Lizzy had completely organised her schedule to oppose his.

But still, she knew it couldn’t last.

Sure enough, one day Old Jenny was trapped in bed, drained from fever. Lizzy had been unlucky enough not to succumb to the same illness, which left her dusting alone. She smelt him before she saw him. The vile cologne from some far off land riled up her nose like a foreign invader. She quickly replaced the grimace on her face with that of a different repulsion – cold stone.

She turned and met him. He was standing far too close.

“Lizzy,” he said as he reached for her skirts.

“Up here,” she answered, her voice deliberately loud. She thought she could hear it echo from somewhere, and turned to see that the door down the far end remained open.

Unfortunately, he was so enraptured as to not notice. He almost grabbed her before she slapped his hands away, and if he hadn’t noticed the loudness of her voice he definitely noticed the sharp smacking noise.

“Quiet,” he snapped angrily before noticing Lizzy’s face. “Do not give me any trouble, now. Else you shall be out and without a reference.”

She had already nicked three silver forks and a large gilded serving spoon, so she had no cause to be intimidated. After all, she had always made her own luck.

“I’ll leave now then,” Lizzy sharply replied as she manoeuvred out of reach.

“Leave?!” That had rattled him. “No! I forbid you to leave!”

She stopped, if only to wonder at where the panic in his voice had arisen from. Then she remembered how no one had dared speak of the girl she had come to replace. Lizzy smiled as she turned back to him.

“My, have you already a reputation for such things?” And she couldn’t keep the humour out of her voice.

The old pervert blushed from his neck to his ears. ”You will not talk to me like that!”

“And how are you going to ensure such talk doesn’t get around in this new age?” Lizzy asked, careful to emphasise the last couple of words. Two words that this lord of the old era clearly found uncomfortable.

She watched, amused at the panic racing across his face. Clearly, he was not fit to dictate terms here. So she turned away again and, not even looking at him now, said, “You keep your hands to yourself now. And while you’re at it, keep out of my way.”

Feedback Please!

Hi Everyone. So since I decided to publicly celebrate finishing a novel, this sh*t just got real. Some people even wanted to know what my book was about, which was awesome.

Which made me realise I need to get some feedback!

Please have a read of the blurb for my book I cobbled together from some rejected pitches (which I thought were awesome, but agents and publicists know better (presumably)). I would also like to know what you think of the title. Any suggestions on anything will be taken on board.

I got this image from a blog called why we reason? I don’t think it’s been active for a while but I like the silhouette. P.S. the image links back to the site I got it from, so it’s all legit 🙂

The Black Swan Inheritance

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido isn’t just hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to fix her own crippling anxiety issues first. Can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself.

I’m not sure about that last sentence. Maybe I should keep it in third person instead?

I should also bring up that Liza Barrett over at Classy Cat Books actually does reviews on blurbs, which is a really clever idea and I wish I’d thought of it first. After all, a blurb is what draws a reader in, so anyone who writes should be evaluating blurbs this way. Blurbs can hook.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts! Would this be the sort of book you’d read?

I’ve finished my book + 50 followers!

Uh, okay, so I haven’t been as active in the blogosphere the last couple of days as I usually am. I just honestly needed a break, and I had promised myself I would get my manuscript for The Black Swan Inheritance finished by today. And I have! Yays!

Well, it’s finished as in I’ve finally rewritten the ending after having gone through and edited the rest of it (as far as the plot goes). I still need to read through the whole thing once last time to make sure it all flows and there are two chapters which need to be broken down into smaller chapters but SCREW IT! My story is done. The manuscript isn’t but the story is, so I’m calling mission accomplished! Ha!

I feel exhausted now. I was only working on it for a handful of hours but… oh write. I mean right. I haven’t drunk any water for that time! That’s kind of necessary isn’t it? No wonder I’m all loopy.

And for the second celebration: 50 followers! Wooo! Thank you everyone! I’m going to list you all here just because I want to say thanks to you all, and encourage you to check each other out because you’re all lovely people:

Hungry Club
http://hungryclub.wordpress.com
   
letsbeatmentalhealth.com
http://letsbeatmentalhealth.wordpress.com
   
Silver Threading
http://cmchesebro.wordpress.com
   
Dennis Cardiff
http://dcardiff.wordpress.com
   
smilyking1976
http://boss870.wordpress.com/
   
Auntie Doris
http://auntdoris.wordpress.com
   
Liza Barrett    
Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
http://hitormissbooks.wordpress.com
   
romance4thebeach
http://romance4thebeach.wordpress.com
   
criticaldispatches
http://criticaldispatches.wordpress.com
   
Anna Bayes
http://annabayes.wordpress.com
   
guyhugo
http://www.confessionsofahollywoodnobody.com
   
Karen
http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com
   
Kait
http://weatheringthestormbp.wordpress.com/
   
Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger
http://thepublicblogger.com/
   
theeditorsjournal
http://theeditorsjournal.wordpress.com
   
sheilarparker
http://sheilarparker.wordpress.com
   
Rosh
http://darlynnrosh.wordpress.com
   
Eliza
http://elizaworner.com
   
theworldoutsidethewindow
http://theworldoutsidethewindow.wordpress.com
bdhesse
http://bdhesse.wordpress.com
   
sheridegrom – From the literary and legislative trenches.
http://sheridegrom.com
   
Marsha J. O’Brien
http://marshaobrien.wordpress.com/
   
Rebecca Bradley
http://rebeccabradleycrime.wordpress.com
   
Sawa Minori
http://angelartstar.wordpress.com
   
rachelcarrera
http://rachelcarrera.wordpress.com
   
Lee-Anne
http://leeannewalker1.wordpress.com
   
Horrorville
http://matthewalesci.wordpress.com
   
E A M Harris
http://eamharris.wordpress.com
   
ciseranidem
http://whatithinkwhatisay.wordpress.com
   
Timothy Pike, host of Dream, Play, Write!
http://theimportanceofbeingedited.wordpress.com
   
I of July
http://htmm.wordpress.com
   
utahrob
http://flyfishingthehighcountry.wordpress.com
   
Carol Balawyder
http://carolbalawyder.com/
   
Susan Lattwein
http://susanlattwein.wordpress.com
   
MuseBoxx
http://www.shaunfurman.com
   
michelinewalker
http://michelinewalker.wordpress.com
   
mdtycho
http://views4africa.wordpress.com
   
bribruceproductions
http://bribruceproductions.wordpress.com
   
Brian Marggraf
http://indieheroblog.wordpress.com
dieterrogiers
http://300stories.wordpress.com
   
BR Kyle
http://havering.wordpress.com
   
Coach Muller
http://goodtimestories.wordpress.com
   
hessianwithteeth
http://hessianwithteeth.wordpress.com
   
Shelby
http://naturepreserve.me
   
Dylan Harnett
http://thedudewithablog.com
   
stepheusebi
http://stepheusebi.com
   
Cristian Mihai
http://cristianmihai.net
   
soireadthisbooktoday
http://soireadthisbooktoday.com
   
stephaniehurt
http://stephaniehurt.wordpress.com
   
Jarosław PlayWithLifE
http://www.playwithlife.org

Book Review: Her Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bown

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Her Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness Mysteries #1

Book Length: 324 pages

Time to Read: Three days of 2-4 hours of reading a day.

Comedic casual historical Lady Mystery (I’m just making these genres up now).

Adult Fiction.

According to the Blurb on the Back:

Rhys Bowen’s two series, the Molly Murphy and Constable Evans mysteries, proved time and time again to be “consistently satisfying” and “compelling”. Now she turns her attentions to the mischief, mishaps, and musings of stylish minor English royalty – circa 1930…

My ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Glen Garry and Rannoch. And I am, as they say, flat broke. A girl of my standing – that is, thirty-fourth in line for the throne – is good for only a few things: perfecting my curtsey, hosting fetes – oh, and marrying into a noble family for the ever-so-romantic reason of securing allies.

But my brother Binky cut off my meagre allowance. So I bolted from Scotland – and a marriage to Fish-Face (I mean, Prince Siegfried of Romania) – and headed to London, where I have:

a) Worked behind a Harrods cosmetics counter for all of five hours before getting sacked

b) Built a fire in the hearth – entirely on my own, thank you very much

c) Started to fall for a minor royal who’s Catholic, Irish, and unsuitable in every way

d) Made a few quid housekeeping (incognita, of course) and

e) Been personally summoned by the Queen herself to spy on her playboy son

Less than thrilled with this last bit, I’m wondering what to do when an arrogant Frenchman, who – coincidentally enough – is trying to swipe the estate that’s been in my family for eight hundred years, winds up dead in my bathtub. Now, my new job is to clear my very long family name…

Review:

I need to start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. Great, now I can rip it to pieces.

Now I did like this book, but there were two very stupid things the protagonist did which I find difficult to believe. Georgie is a smart girl, and we know she had read Sherlock Holmes (or at least knew where he fictionally lived) so I did find it difficult that she (very, very minor spoiler here) wrote a note to her brother regarding the body she found and left it on his bed in case he came home. See, she was worried her brother might be involved in the murder in some way or another and wanted to talk to him before phoning the police. Then, later that day, she ended up having to call the police after not finding her brother (and forged an alibi to pretend she had only just discovered the body) and had forgotten about the note. This little slip-up was raised in the novel but it wasn’t resolved (did the police find this incriminating note and if so why didn’t they question her about it?), which was something else that really annoyed me. Or maybe it was resolved briefly but I missed it somehow. It happens.

The second stupid thing Georgie did was at the end of the novel and happened purely for suspense and flew in the face of logic. I felt it was a moment of pushing the plot upon the protagonist but it was a stock-standard thing to happen in a novel (damsel in distress and all that), so I suppose that’s forgivable.

What is NOT forgivable is anglesize. WTF is anglesize? It took me a moment to realise what was meant:

“He worshipped his guardian too, poor little chap. So if you happen to bump into him, do be kind to him, won’t you? Tristram Hautbois.” (She pronounced it “Hote-boys,” naturally. It is the done thing to anglesize any French name when possible).

Anglicise. Anglicise. Anglicise. Anglicise. Not anglesize. If you are to make something Anglican, you anglicise it. For goodness sake, I hope that was the mistake of an American editor and not the author, who is English even if she’s living in Northern California these days.

One of the skills I have is (for some reason) remembering where on a page a certain sentence had struck me. This one, I remembered, was in the top left of the open book and inside brackets, which made it easy to locate again so I could mock it.

There were a couple of other niggling errors that crept up during my read, mostly typos and things, but nothing as blatantly bad as that. I don’t know how books can be published in glorious print with errors. After all that writing, self-editing, professional editing and beta reading that had meant to have gone on I would have expected someone would pick these things up.

And this book is another one of those with a seriously misleading title. Georgie does no spying. Mystery-solving out of necessity, yes, but no spying. It is a clever title so I guess they just wanted to use it no matter whether it tied in with the plot or not. Who knows? Maybe the spying starts in the sequel.

Perhaps it’s a testament to how much I enjoyed the read by how annoyed I got at these little things. Anyway, I do recommend it if you like those Lady mysteries like I do, and the humour was good. It’s not Miss Fisher (which is a little more serious, but more polished too), but it is fun and I will read the rest in the series whenever I need something whimsical and light-hearted. Thumbs up.

P.S. I’m sorry about slipping into a slightly posh and pretentious tone. I’ve only just finished the book and it’s still kinda stuck on me. Oh, good. I think it’s cleared up 🙂

Small Defeats: Water off a duck’s back, or the final straw?

We all have them. Sometimes it seems like it happens every day, sometimes more than once a day. It would be wonderful to be happy all of the time, but we need a reason for that happiness, a reason to be peaceful. We need time to ourselves and space. And sometimes things. Just. Don’t. Work.

I remember once just standing in front of the bread section in the supermarket, and I had a moment. I had just wanted bread. I didn’t know if I wanted light rye/ sourdough/ wholemeal/ wholegrain/ white/ white plus fibre/ multigrain/ country style or whatever the hell else there was to choose from. I just kind of… broke. All I wanted was bread. I left the store without buying anything,

Then I had to go back later and picked light rye.

I’m not sure what had happened. I was just suddenly overwhelmed by the choice I had to make. This is not the first time I had experienced one of these ‘small defeats’ but it was probably the most stupid example of it happening to me. I mean, I freaked out when faced with bread. BREAD DEFEATED ME.

What the hell was going to happen with my head when it was finally faced with a decision of enormity? The strangest thing is, sometimes I’m great. I’ve made big decisions before. I was out of work for six months after the coal price dropped and I was applying to at least one job advertisement a day. I just kept plugging away at it and eventually I lucked out (and I know that was all it was – there’s still plenty of good geologists out of work). So I knew I had a bit of grit. But then other times when I’m financially stable I can’t pick out a freaking loaf of bread.

I think we’re all vulnerable to this. Over-thinking things, expectations we place upon ourselves, society telling us that we must be successful because if we’re not successful then we’re failures. I’m not always vulnerable. No one wants to be vulnerable. I want to be tough. I want to be strong. But sometimes that willpower just doesn’t back me up. My self-confidence fades, And I’m vulnerable again.

Most of the time I’m okay. But sometimes a little problem just isn’t water off a duck’s back. Sometimes it becomes the straw that breaks.

We need to be conscious of this, for ourselves and others. Just because we seem fine it doesn’t mean we are.

And the next time you see someone standing for a solid ten minutes in front of the bread isle, maybe just suggest your favourite bread (which is now light rye for me). Don’t snap at them to “move your stupid ass!” because then you might be hit in the face with the donuts and find the perpetrator has already bolted out of the store.

Just a word of advice.

Have you ever had similar experiences or have any advice? Please feel free to comment.

And here’s a picture of a duck. It cheered me up.

Beautiful Duck 24

Haiku: For Daffodil Day

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A little sunshine

Brought by a bloom rests the hope

To shed light on us.

A bit expensive,

But it’s for a donation

To a worthy cause.

Little Daffodil

Supporting Cancer Council.

Research, help and hope.

Unbiased sickness

Affecting every-one

Yet we must have hope.

Happy Daffodil Day Everyone! For those residents of Australia I hope you all got your bright little flower to fund the hope of cancer research.

MdD

One Very Inspiring Blogger

I’d like to congratulate Eliza Worner for receiving the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

*Cue Applause*

Eliza is a fellow writer and has published a children’s book, writes an online serial novel, contributes to online publications and is also editing her new novel which has been the inspiration for many an interesting post. She’s so dedicated and kinda puts me to shame 😉 so I happily visit her blog to gain inspiration.

 Very Inspiring Blogger Award

And she has kindly nominated me to be the next recipient. And I have coddled it like my childhood teddy humbly accepted. Thank you Eliza! May we continue to be blogger buddies and prosper in the blogosphere!

So what’s the go? Well, this very encouraging award acts like a chain-mail thing. The letter kind, not the smithing upgrade to ringmail. Basically upon accepting the award you need to follow THE RULES:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their very inspiring site.

2. Mention the rules. But it doesn’t say you can’t break them ;).

3. Nominate who you think should receive this lovely award (and let them know on their sites).

4. Tell the blogging world something they don’t know about you.

So, without further ado, here are my NOMINATIONS:

Leiah Cooper for So, I read this book today. Leiah is a serial reader who is amazingly inspiring. Seriously, check out her site if you haven’t already.

Shelby for Nature Preserve Me, who attacks life and nature with a far more optimistic attitude than I have. But I’m learning 😉 I think that’s something like the definition of inspiring? To lead by example?

Lee-Anne for Is it just me? Fellow Aussie-blogger and a teacher who I’ve leant on for some pearls of wisdom, and she kindly obliged. She has a wonderful sense of humour that really comes out in the tales she tells.

Utah Rob for Fly fishing the high country. He writes stories about fishing. And I like them. And I don’t like fishing. Such are the skills of this man.

Cheryl for What Cheryl said. Inspiring is this woman’s middle name. Always has the time to give out much appreciated encouragement to bloggers in need 🙂

Rosh for Rose of Sharon Healing. A truly inspiring blog from a woman living in Korea. Open-minded about culture, natural remedies, compassion, all the good stuff 😉

Auntie Doris How I wish I was related to this woman. Or maybe that she was possessing my home. That would be awesome.

Hessian With Teeth Besides being an awesome blog name, these two uni students have a lot to say. A blog mostly about exploring faith and encouraging open conversation between those with or without faith. I had never heard of interfaith before reading this blog and I’m glad I know about it now. They talk about a lot of things I’m afraid to broach, so for that, they are inspiring.

Congratulations everyone! May you continue to inspire for years ahead!

Facts about me that none of you know about (unless you’re rereading this):

1. I still have my childhood teddy. His neck has been ripped twice, and I’ve just recently had to replace the stuffing. Poor little guy. He long ago lost his bleached whiteness and the sheen on his eyes have dulled, but I wouldn’t have him any other way. He’s not male either: he only uses masculine pronouns because he’s too rugged to be feminine.

2. Physical imperfections: I have needed orthotics since I was about ten years old; I have needed glasses since I was thirteen; I still have acne, including those horrible things that swell up behind the ears; I had a small, marble-sized cyst cut out just above my ankle, but got the stitches taken out too early (lesson learnt: only allow trusted doctors to perform surgery) so the scar (dent) is awful; I have zero muscle mass and as such have become ‘flabby’ (what an awful word); I have loose ligaments which basically means I can dislocate joints easily, but never have because I’ve never done that much sport or physical labour (but I need to do physio exercises to keep the joints from hurting). Apparently the last one is meant to be good for giving birth. I think the doctor was really stretching for a silver lining there. Oh, and I’m molely. My skin is so pale it’s almost translucent, so the most it can muster for pigmentation are blotches.

3. I play video games for the stories. No, really. I got into them because of a classic called Broken Sword but point-and-click adventure isn’t all that popular, unfortunately. I still like killing zombies and stuff, but I love the fantasy stories. Anything made by Bioware is excellent in my book. I’m still waiting from Jade Empire 2.

4. I am single. I think I may have mentioned still living with my mum. Not real fussed on dating as such. I love the idea of romance, but… I just don’t see it happening for me.

5. I cry very easily. No, it’s not because I’m single. It’s because I’m just a big kid. Since becoming an adult (I think) I’ve only cried in movies (and advertisements for movies – those seven seconds really pull at the heartstrings), and when I’m very tired and can’t get to bed in time. This last one usually happens when I’m run down and sick and still trying to keep it together at work and I just break. The other times this happens is because of jetlag, and I’m waiting in some airport for a connecting flight (I do love travelling, but it does NOT love me) and all I want to do is lie down but the seats have all these armrest dividers and I almost want to lie down on the floor but then I’ll just pick some horrible disease and… yeah, I get pretty worked up in these situations.

6. I love sleep. LOVE it. 8 hours is not enough for me, unless I’ve had a truly relaxing day. I think it’s against human nature to have to wake up before dawn. But I do it all, anyway. For money.

7. I am not a person of religious faith, but I have faith in humanity and the good we can achieve together. I am, in fact, an atheist. Okay, I suppose that’s kind of a big thing to reveal about myself. I hope I haven’t misled anyone. I have looked deep inside my heart and became honest with myself when I was twelve. I don’t believe in God – the belief just isn’t there. But I still learn from Jesus’ teachings, as they are good lessons. I respect my friends’ beliefs and the beliefs of everyone, as long as they’re not using it to hurt people. This is a sensitive topic, I know, but I’m taking this opportunity to clear the air. I’m nervous about admitting this. But the friends I’ve found through this blog has been because we have common values. We might not have everything in common, but those fundamental values of compassion and acceptance are there. I know it is because I’ve seen it in all your works. I want to remain friends.

Let’s still be friends.

MdD

Mini Story: A Walk to Recall

There was something exciting about going for a walk with only my keys. No wallet, no phone, no money or cards – just keys. It was strangely liberating, like I was throwing caution to the wind.

You could probably tell I led a very boring life.

But I liked boring. Boring was safe. Better a boring life than a dangerous one, as my old mum used to say.

So I set out into the afternoon sun and walked down the street, past the freshly painted houses and well-groomed gardens. I enjoyed the fresh air tinged with jasmine and humidity, my legs grateful for the stretch. The sun was still relatively high in the sky and it wasn’t long before I worked up enough of a sweat to consider going back the way I came.

As I turned around on the footpath, a bicycle whooshed past behind me, right where I would have stepped next if I hadn’t decided to turn. I watched, flummoxed as the young man rode off in his tight lycra swimsuit (I supposed it could be a riding suit, but that would be silly). I hadn’t even the time to shout at him. Why did he have to go so fast? It wasn’t like he could be going anywhere special dressed like that.

I shook my head and continued back. It wasn’t as if I needed another reminder that I would be safer at home. But another reminder, I had.

DSCN5590

This one inspired the MC’s distraction.

As I stopped before a crossing to watch a cat gazing at me from across the road, a car came around and cut the curb. Drove up over the grassy bit for a good two meters before coming back down onto the road, then the back wheel followed. This time I ,managed to give them a good shout but they drove off anyway. I worried for them. It was much too early to be that drunk.

Finally I made it back home where my granddaughter was doing her homework.

“How was your walk, Nan?” she asked.

“Awful,” I said. “It’s getting more dangerous out there everyday.”

But she just rolled her eyes.