2019 New Year Resolutions

new year resolutions, 2019, goals, accomplishments, discipline

It’s the start of a new year and – you know it – the time for some new year’s resolutions!

People always drag new year’s resolutions because we’re so bad at sticking to them. But honestly I enjoy making new year’s resolutions. I always get a lot of fun out of making them, even if I don’t end up keeping them. And I thought I’d share my resolutions this year in the hopes that making them public will keep me accountable! READ MORE

A Look Back At 2018

Best of 2018

As another year comes to a close, one thing that struck me is how our perception of things can become quite skewed. Only a few days ago, I was having end of year drinks with a friend of mine when she began to count the number of years we’ve known each other. “I can’t believe how long we’ve known each other!” she exclaimed. “And can you believe how much has changed since we first met?”

That was when I paused and looked at her – and suddenly I was almost on the verge of tears. Because I honestly did not feel I’d accomplished as much as I’d like to over the many years, if any at all. I quickly glossed over her question, but the bad feelings stayed with me for the next couple of days until I forced myself to address it. And to be honest? It’s not true at all.

Sometimes the goals we want or have achieved aren’t as traditional or as visible as the goals of others. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are amazing goals because they’re our goals. We achieved them and no one else. And they are steps along the ladder that will take us ever closer to the Ultimate Goal that we’ve been working for.

And you know something else? I sat down and started jotting down a list of things I’ve done in 2018. And I realised right away how foolish I was for thinking I haven’t achieved very much at all, especially this year. Because I have. You know how everyone on Twitter has been joking about how long 2018 seems to be because it’s been packed with so many events? Well, that was how it felt like to me personally too. So much has happen, it feels like there’s been two years packed into one. I’ve done a huge amount, kicked so many goals and achieved so many firsts – and I’m proud of myself for it.

So just what have I done? READ MORE

Pitch Wars Update!!

writing, writer's space, teacup, notebook, laptop, Pitch Wars

It’s been a while since I’ve last checked in and I wanted to share some truly awesome news!

I last posted about entering Pitch Wars, an online contest where aspiring writers can submit their completed, unpublished manuscripts for a two-month mentorship. Well, I’ve had some good news since – I’ve been picked as a mentee by the fabulous writer Joanna Hathaway!! (By the way, check out her gorgeous website and her debut book, Dark of the West, which is up for pre-order!) READ MORE

Pitch Wars 2017: #PimpMyBio Post

writing, maps, writing space, creative space

This post is part of the #PimpMyBio blog hop for Pitch Wars, a contest by author Brenda Drake where aspiring writers can submit their completed, unpublished manuscripts for a two-month mentorship. Can we get a huge round of applause for Brenda for hosting Pitch Wars and for Lana Pattinson for hosting the #PimpMyBio blog hop? This is all so amazing! (By the way, Lana, I would totally talk booze, books and Scotland with you any day!).

This is my first time entering Pitch Wars and I’m super excited and nervous about this opportunity to connect with the writing community online! I’ve been a lone wolf writer for a long time and I’m really looking forward to making friends, meeting some writer buddies and hopefully some CPs too! Please come connect with me!

Who am I? (AKA am I animal, vegetable or mineral?) READ MORE

Write Through It

write through it, writing advice, writing tip, writing goals, writers, authors

Write Through It.

This is the revision tip I’m sharing as part of #pwsummersplash right now, which is also part of #pitchwars!

So what does ‘write through it’ mean? READ MORE

Recipe: Super Easy Pumpkin Soup with Ravioli/Tortellini

pumpkin soup, ravioli, pasta, recipe, winter, warm, homemade, easy

We’ve enjoyed a warm and sunny start to the winter in Perth, but now things are starting to get real chilly! What better time then to settle in on the sofa with a rug, a good book and a heartwarming bowl of homemade pumpkin soup?

I don’t think I’ve ever cooked pumpkin soup before. Pumpkins scare me – I’m terrible at cutting them up (read: total weakling, so much so that even the strength of a whole pumpkin defeats me. Pumpkin=1 Maz=0). But pumpkin soup is so delish and I was really craving some homemade soup the other day so I decided to give it a go. READ MORE

A Conversation with Margot McGovern

Margot McGovern, Lectito, writer, writer's journey, writing, creativity, conversation, interview, Australian, author, YA, fantasy, Neverland,

Today’s Conversation features a fellow Australian writer!

I first came across Margot McGovern via her blog, Lectito. This site is a gem for readers, writers and anyone who loves books in general. Here, you can find book reviews, author interviews and writing how-tos, and even a little feature I love called Meet the Bookstagrammers. Bookstagrammers are some of the warmest, loveliest community of readers/writers out there and I love finding more accounts to follow from Margot’s blog!

And as if being a book reviewer and owner of a successful blog wasn’t enough, Margot has just recently signed with Penguin Random House to publish her debut book, a YA novel titled Neverland! How cool is that? I’m so excited and can’t wait to check out the book when it’s out.

In the meantime, Margot has been kind enough to take some time out to have a conversation with The Salonniere’s Apartments about reading, writing and blogging. Find out more below…. READ MORE

Book Review: Molly Thynne’s Golden Age crime stories

Mary Thynne, Murder on the Enriqueta, Dr Constantine, murder mystery, detective, crime novel, Golden Age, British mystery

This week is all about authors whose books I cannot put down!

As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of the Golden Age of detective fiction and I’ve been loving the new releases of lesser-known detective authors from the era, particularly the British Library Crime Classics collection. Now in the midst of searching for some new BLCC authors to come across, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering Molly Thynne and her amateur sleuth Dr Constantine. READ MORE

Book Review: The Russell’s Attic Series by SL Huang

Cas Russell, Zero Sum Game, SL Huang, Russell's Attic, math superpower, thriller, action, book review

I first heard of SL Huang when Tor Books announced they had picked up the North American rights to her thriller series Russell’s Attic. (Up till now, Huang had opted to self-publish her books, citing her disillusionment with the US copyright laws and her desire to make her work available on Creative Commons). Intrigued, I clicked on her website and found that she’s not only a great writer, she’s also a hell of an interesting individual in her own right – for example, not only is she an MIT graduate with a degree in math, she’s also a Hollywood stuntwoman and a firearms expert who has worked with actors like Danny Glover and Jason Momoa! How cool is that?

Also cool is her Russell’s Attic series featuring Cas Russell, a woman whose superhero power is that she’s really, really good at math. READ MORE

Tips on How to Cut Down Your Novel’s Word Count

writing tips, writers, novel, word count, manuscript, edit, draft, tighten, concise, streamline

It’s a known fact that most writers overwrite – and especially most newbie writers overwrite. I fully admit I’m one of those – I never have to worry about meeting a word quota, more that I’ll run way over it!

Now I adore big books as much as the next person does, but when it comes to writing I have to be super disciplined with myself. I’ve had stories rejected before because they were way too long. As I’ve previously mentioned, good, strong, concise writing always packs a punch, more so than flowery, descriptive passages. And when you manuscript starts running well over 10,000 words, that’s when you know it’s time to get the pruning shears out.

So how do we kill our darlings? Let us count the ways. READ MORE