Book Review: Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

Out of Oz, The Wicked Years, Gregory Maguire, fairytale retelling, fantasy, book review, bookstagram

Okay, first off, I loved Wicked. Loved, loved, loved it. Shed quarts of tears while reading it. And loved the musical too!

However, I wasn’t so enamoured by the following books, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men. Maguire’s writing keeps me turning the pages… and yet I did not get as lost in the books as I did in Wicked. I couldn’t relate to most of the characters or what was happening to Oz. There was a lot of persecution and oppression, as in Wicked, but somehow… I could not care.

So I was a little apprehensive when I picked up Out of Oz. But, somehow, the book manages to tie in the rest of the series and make me care about what happens to (most of) the characters once more. READ MORE

Writing Wednesday: If A Story Is In You, It Has To Come Out

William Faulkner, writing, story, writers, quote, Writing Wednesday

Writers, let your stories out.

Recipe: Quinoa Winter Salad

winter, quinoa, salad, mandarins, rocket, cherry tomatoes, zuchinni, soup, chicken stock

I’m continuing my theme of What My Book Characters Eat this week with a recipe for a winter quinoa salad!

It may be summer over in the northern hemisphere but here in Australia, it’s brisk and chilly and the perfect time for a warm winter salad. But I think this salad would be great chilled summertime too – so it’s really an all-seasons salad! Plus, it has less than 10 ingredients and is really simple and quick to make. Simple and easy recipes are the best! READ MORE

Monday Motivation: The Sun Is A Daily Reminder

the sun, S Ajna, light, quote, inspiration, inspo, wisdom, motivation, Monday

Rise from the darkness and shine your light.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces

Hero with a thousand faces, writers, Joseph Campell, hero's journey, writing

The Hero with A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell tells the story of the hero’s journey, a narrative Campbell asserts is the basic structure of myths from all over the world. In the book, Campbell lays out the various stages of the hero’s journey, such as the Call to Adventure, the various Trials, the Initiations, Atonement and the Return. It’s not an unfamiliar narrative, especially when you look at the way most movies and books are structured.  READ MORE

Seven Tips to Beat Writerly Discouragement

writing, winter, tea, writers, discouragement, encouragement, advice, support

Writing can be a lonely business at times. Writing a novel is a lengthy process that takes a lot of time, perseverance and patience, and often with not much to show for it. It’s made even harder by the fact that there’s not many visible milestones by which we can mark our progress – after all, who gets applause for all those novels tucked away in the bedside drawer that never see the light of day? Sometimes it feels like we’re the Red Queen, running in one spot and not making any progress at all! Therefore, it’s no surprise to those in the writing life how easy it is to get knocked down by the discouragement, to question ourselves over whether this is the right path, if we’re not just wasting our precious time.

But it is worth it. As Octavia E. Butler says, persistence is key to being a good writer. But it’s just so hard to remember that when you’re staring at the last 10 hours’ worth of writing and thinking it’s no good, or when you’ve received your 30th rejection slip. So I thought I’d share some of my tips for beating the devil that is discouragement for writers. READ MORE

Writing Wednesday: Never Give Up

Never give up, Sabaa Tahir, persistence, motivation, writers, writing inspo, inspiration, writing advice, quote, wisdom

I love this quote by Sabaa Tahir. It’s a reminder to all us aspiring writers to never give up, to never stop writing, to push through all the disappointment and rejections and feelings of failure, and to always remember the reason why we began writing in the first place – simply because we love it! We’ll get there eventually, we just have to keep doing what we love and ignore the little voice of discouragement that lingers in the back of our minds. Never give up, my writer friends!

What My Characters Eat

Rustic Soup, Bread and Books

I’m in the midst of the final rounds of editing my work-in-progress and I’m so excited about how it’s turning out!

I haven’t spoken much about exactly what my story is about, and I want to wait till I’m finished before I actually speak about it. I guess in a way I don’t want to jinx it!

But I thought I’d share a couple of sneak peeks at the lives and times of my characters – and particularly for today, a look at the food my characters eat! Food is such an integral part of life and affords such a window into various cultures and ways of life. I love reading about the delicious meals characters sup on in stories and I also enjoy writing about scrumptious meals and culinary confections! READ MORE

Monday Motivation: All We Have To Decide

JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, quote, time, wisdom, motivation, inspiration, inspo

It’s Not Always Black and White by Kate Knapp

It's not always black and white, Kate Knapp, worries, illustrations, sketches, advice, inspiration, inspo

My friend loaned me this adorable book to cheer me up when I was feeling really down about life. I love flipping through the pages and coming across heartwarming quotes such as this one: “They washed all the worries away with hot soapy water, then dried them with an optimistic teatowel.”

It's not always black and white, Kate Knapp, worries, illustrations, sketches, advice, inspiration, inspo

How can you not love that? Kate Knapp is an Australian illustrator and I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future.