Monday, September 30, 2013

Down and Out: Climbing Back to the Top of My Happy Hill

This past week things have been getting me down. Not because I’m unhappy, but because I haven’t achieved all the things I’ve wanted to over the past few months, and I’m feeling the pressure.

Two weeks ago I started a new job. This is good. I was in a rut with my last employer. I wasn’t learning anything new, I was bored a lot of the time, and I hated going to work on the two days I actually had to leave my nice comfy home and tackle the Sydney traffic. My new job is awesome, and I’m really enjoying the change and the challenge. But it’s far more work than I’m used to, so I have a lot less spare time to do all the things I want to do. In other words, all the things that make me happy.

One of my recent reads was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. His books rank among my favourites, and he is one of my favourite authors. He gave birth to the idea of Father Time, and I can’t at this point in my life help cursing this fictional character in the context of The Time Keeper.

“Man alone suffers a paralysing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
Mitch Albom – The Time Keeper

Yes, this is so true, but I have to ask myself what is most important? That time will run out, or that I haven’t used it wisely?

Since I’ve had to work more, I’ve utilised my time better. For instance, I write in my lunch break because it’s the only spare time I have, and therefore my word count on those days is bigger. On Friday morning I had my car serviced and I had to sit and wait at the dealership. I used this time to think about all the things I needed to do over the next few weeks before I go away at the end of October. The list looks something like this:
  • Edit Immagica and have it ready for my editor by October 25
  • Sit my uni exam
  • Write two essays for uni
  • Write more of the next Tate Chronicles instalment
  • Schedule blog posts
  • Write book reviews for a blog tour
  • Critique a novella
  • Work more days than I usually do
  • Design a cook book

I’m exhausted just looking at that list.

After my car was ready I knew I should go home and get cracking on the list, but I’d worked a 4-day week and I wanted some me time. So I stopped in at the local shops for an hour. I walked past kikki. K. which is a very bad thing because I never leave that shop empty handed. Well, this time I was happy to part with my money. I bought myself two little quote books and a dream journal. It’s the best money I’ve spent in a while.

It makes me happy just looking at them!

When I got home I sat down and flicked through the quote books. Instantly I realised one very important thing. The length of the list is not what matters. What matters is that everything on that list is something that makes me happy.

Happiness is the key, and when everything starts to get too much, I just need to remind myself why I’m doing what I do.

“It is never too late or too soon. It is when it is supposed to be.”
Mitch Albom – The Time Keeper

I'm really looking forward to turning to these quote books for inspiration, motivation and reassurance. And I'm excited about all the dreams I have to put into my dream journal. It's things like this that help keep me grounded, and I'd love to know what you like to do to keep things in perspective?

K x

Friday, September 27, 2013

Up Close and Personal - Some Stuff About Me

When I sit down to write a blog post I usually try and think of some good advice, or something my readers might be interested in, or if all else fails, something about my books. The one thing I’ve never really written about is me. I’ve done the odd interview that has answered all the typical questions, but I’ve never laid myself out for you all to see, so, here goes…

My family is very important to me, and they always come first.

I’m very passionate and I hate being wrong, and funnily enough these two traits often get me into trouble.

I’m opinionated, pedantic, and a bit of a control freak, but I’m also very balanced.

I believe in karma: what goes around comes around; do to others as you would like done to you; that kind of thing, so when I see people behaving badly in any kind of way it irks me. I often need to exercise extreme self-control to not stick my nose in, because that’s another thing I don’t like—people sticking their noses into other people’s business.

Sometimes I may appear confident and outgoing, but I’m quite insecure. Over the past few years, and since having my children, I’ve learnt to love myself more.

I think I’m still a teenager on the inside, but when I talk to teens and watch them in public I wonder if I was ever like that. Often I cringe.

I love pink and purple, and I’m attracted to shiny objects.

Much to my hubby’s amusement, I’m short, and often the butt of many jokes (see what I did there).

Many moons ago when I was in my very early twenties, I had a guy give me the once over from the driver’s seat of his Porsche Boxster. He drove away with his head down when I screwed my nose up. If he’d been driving a Hummer, or a Hilux, or a Discovery I probably would have jumped into the passenger seat and asked him to marry me. Okay, maybe not. But the point is flashy sports cars don’t impress me. Neither does slick hair and a cheap suit. I’m a tradie lover. There’s something sexy about a man covered in grease.

Okay, moving along…

My perfect family holiday involves a tent, the 4WD and my own backyard. (If you don’t know what I mean, I’m referring to Australia as a whole. We have so many places to have awesome holidays.)

I use the word awesome way too much, and I’m actually surprised I’ve typed it only twice so far in this blog post.

If you’ve read my bio you’ll know I have a rabbit named Twitch. I can claim her as mine because I’m the one that feeds her and cleans her cage. The kids think she belongs to them. When they start looking after her I might hand her over.

We also have a goldfish. Now, I have to ask the question: why does the fish never die when you want it to? I know that sounds mean, but we have been through so many fish. We started out with two. After a month or so, one died. From then on every time we replaced the dead fish, the other one would die and we’d end up with one fish—again. If I buy another fish so the current fish has a fishy friend, I guarantee it will die and we’ll have one fish—again. It’s a bad fish cycle.

I’m turning 35 this year. Yikes!

I have a big shoe collection. At one point I think I had more than eighty pairs. When we moved I culled a few and now I really don’t know how many I have, but I do know I wear the same ones all the time—boots in winter and thongs (flip-flops for the Americans) in summer. I have five pairs of Havaianas. To check out the awesome range, click the image.

Buffy is the most awesome (four times now) TV show that has ever existed.

The last thing I want to tell you about is my hubby. Some people don’t believe in love at first sight or insta love and that’s fine, but I do. I met him when I was sixteen and I thought to myself, one day I’m going to marry that boy. We started “going around” a month before I was seventeen. We bought our first house when I was twenty-three, and we were married just before my twenty-fourth birthday. I had my daughter at twenty-seven and my son at twenty-nine. Hubby and I have had our fair share of fights, and we still fight occasionally, but we have never separated even for a day. He is my rock and my best friend.

So, there you have it. Some stuff about me, my life, and what makes me tick.

If you have any questions I’d love to answer them. Just comment below.

K x

Monday, September 16, 2013

Indie-Credible + A FREE Bonus Tate Chronicles Scene

This month is Indie-Credible month. To check out the full schedule GO HERE.

There are numerous blogs hosting a fantastic array of Indie authors, and my post went live last week on My Book Addiction. Toni is awesome, and she put together an equally awesome post to help promote me, and my books. You can pop over to her blog and read an exclusive interview, plus check out her review of Fall For Me.

The other special thing I did for Toni's post was write a bonus scene from Seth's POV called Bound. You can download your free copy by clicking the cover below. Enjoy!

K x

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Indie Life - The Day I Met My Biggest Fan

Welcome to my Indie Life post for September. This is a monthly feature posted on the second Wednesday of the month and hosted by the Indelibles. The aim is to promote, encourage, and support indie authors.

I had an experience over the weekend that I’ve never had before. It was good, and very sweet, but a little weird.

Here’s what went down:

A few months back my sister-in-law bought copies of my books for her 12-yr-old neighbour. She said she LOVED them, which I thought was pretty awesome since she just sneaks into my target audience age bracket.

At the weekend I was having a relaxing time at my brother’s place, watching the kids ride their bikes in the quiet street where my brother and his family live, and generally just kicking back. I asked Kylie (my sis-in-law) about her neighbour, and she jumped up all excited and ran to get the phone.

Two minutes later I had a 12-yr-old fan-girling over me. Me!

I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but her excitement was infectious. My face hurt from smiling so big. We talked about books and she asked when the sequel would be published—ouch! (This is a bit of a sore spot at the moment.) She even squealed a little, and did the jumping up and down hand clap.

She was so excited and happy to meet me (and I was mortified I had no makeup on and looked like a slob).

But, moments like this are why I do what I do. And they remind me why I love it so much.

If my writing can make just one person this happy, it's all been worth it.

Have an awesome month.

K x