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March 7, 2014 / diannegray

Interesting reflections

One of my dogs (Casey - see how much she’s grown!) has interesting eyes. She looks like she’s wearing Egyptian eye make-up with black lines that run from the corners of her eyes outward.

Yesterday on our walk to the creek I decided to use my phone to take a picture of her eyes. The picture doesn’t really show how nice her eyes are but I did see something interesting when I magnified it.

Casey

If you look closely you can see my silhouette in her eyes.

My reflection

Woah – I wonder what she’s thinking as I’m standing there reflected in her eyes?

Later in the evening I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the moon. On closer examination I realised I’d captured some of the landscape in the shadows. I think it’s pretty cool!

quarter moon

Have you ever taken a picture and been surprised by something unexpected?

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If you haven’t grabbed a free copy of my books yet, there’s still time ;)

March 4, 2014 / diannegray

It’s ‘Read an e-Book’ week

Smashwords is running a week-long promotional event for e-Books. They’ve dubbed it Read an eBook Week and it runs from March 2nd through to March 8th.

I’ve decided to join in the fun and am offering all my books for free on Smashwords until March 8. If you’d like to read them I’ve listed them below with a coupon code so you can get them for gratis, nix, nothing, free (I think you get the drift) :D

All you need to do is choose the book (or all of them if you like), go into Smashwords and use the code RW100 at the checkout.

Let Sleeping Gods Lie

Soul’s Child

The Eleventh Question

The Everything Theory

Wolf Pear

Happy reading!

In the meantime I thought I’d share two pics of us walking the dogs to the creek for a swim. We do this every afternoon (the dogs love it and it’s great exercise for us too!)

Woo Hoo - we love our daily walk to the creek!

Woo Hoo – we love our daily walk to the creek!

A swim and a bath - good for the doggy soul ;)

A swim and a bath – good for the doggy soul!

March 3, 2014 / diannegray

Just like some froggie that I used to know

I saw a frog on my window. It was TINY and transparent and I don’t know what kind of frog it was but I sung it a song and it hopped away (I’ve never won a Grammy). I’ve tried to Google it to no avail because small and transparent frog just doesn’t cut it. Also – it’s on green glass so it looks green but it was more of a brown colour. If you know could you please let me know – for no particular reason other than I just want to know.

Do you know what kind of frog I am?

Do you know what kind of frog I am?

For the last two weeks my writer’s nook has been filled with fireflies (or lightning bugs). I turn off the lights at night and it’s like looking up at the stars. Most are on the ceiling but some shoot past my face and others just hover around my head (my hubby’s beginning to wonder if he’s married to some kind of critter-attracting-alien). I’ve tried to get pictures but they just come out dark with a few white spots so I’m not going to bore you by posting them here. I’ve talked to some locals around the place and they say it’s unusual for fireflies to move from the trees and into houses so I feel very humbled that they take time-out from their tree rituals to come and visit me. It’s like living in fairyland!

But I did get an interesting shot the other night. Last year I posted about two geckos having a ‘big cuddle’ (hey – this is a family blog) on the ceiling. Well, this shot goes one step further. Not only did I see two geckos in a fast embrace, but I saw a third trying to separate them. The third gecko had one of them by the tail and was yanking as hard as possible to get them apart. Jealousy perhaps?

Gecko weirdness

At the moment I’m putting exterior walls on the writer’s nook and will post some shots here soon.

Wishing you all a lovely week! 

February 25, 2014 / diannegray

Cairns Eye – Makeover

Last April when I was feverishly sanding windows and doors (and building up my flab muscles) I took a ten minute break to read the local newspaper (Cairns Post). An interesting competition caught my eye.

**Win a Makeover**

Hmmm – I needed that, so I entered and then promptly forgot about it when I got back into sanding again.

After returning in September after a week away to visit my mother I received a phone call. My entry stating why I needed a makeover had won!

I actually can’t remember what I wrote now but it went something along the lines of After all the work I’ve done on the RUC people are starting to mistake me for a tradie.

I spent a fantastic day being pampered. In the morning I went to Ipseity Beauty & Hair Studio where Kristie shaped my unruly locks and did my make-up. In the afternoon I went shopping with a fashion guru (Gerlinda) who told me I should wear a bra (dang it – I hate bras!)

Gerlinda was amazing – she would walk into a shop, pick several outfits that I wouldn’t think of wearing in a pink fit and ask me to try them on. I loved every one of them.

It’s odd how we think we know what styles and colours suit us until someone who actually knows what they’re talking about suggests otherwise. I love blue and wear it all the time.

Gerlinda’s first words to me were don’t wear blue it doesn’t suit your colouring. This statement hit me like a dead fish in the face. Don’t wear blue? Good grief – I LOVE blue, everything in my wardrobe is blue! I was even wearing a blue shirt at the time :(

We would walk into a shop and I would veer for the first blue outfit I could see – she would head for the earthy colours.

Only wear colours you can find in a forest she would say. Greens, browns, oranges – yick! For some reason my eyes are not drawn to those colours – but they suited me!

After the outfits were chosen we went to the photographic studio for some pictures.

Work it - were the photographer’s words. I wasn’t sure how to work it.

Pull your stomach in, chest out, shoulders back - I don’t know about you, but I can’t do all those things at the same time.

Smile with your eyes - Oh dear, after a full week of bawling after seeing my mother, my eyes looked like a truck drivers gut.

But the photographer was great – he told some jokes and made me laugh and then I started to work it like the best of them.

This is a big thank you to the team at the Cairns Post (Cairns Eye) for giving me a great day!

Cairns Eye (2)Don’t you just love these colours?

Before this I would never have worn orange – go figure…

 

February 19, 2014 / diannegray

My silent battle with Harold

***Large insect warning***
(for those with Spheksophobia or Entomophobia)

For the past week Harold and I have had a silent battle. He visits several times a day. He loves my writer’s nook and wants to make it his home – but I’m not keen on the idea.

Potter wasp

The back of my fan is not a good place to nest

He thinks he can bully me into letting him move in and start a family. At first I’d just swat him away, but then he started sneaking up on me while I had my head down trying to write. I’d look up to see his steely eyes an inch from my face. We would have a stare-off until one of us would pass wind through complete and utter fear (no – not me!)

A month ago I wrote a post about how attractive I am (to mosquitoes) and how I had developed a spray from tea tree oil, lavender and water – I’ve now added eucalyptus and it actually works to keep those little killers from sucking my precious blood  – so I thought I’d give it a try on Harold.

Why don’t you just kill Harold? I hear you ask.

I have a killing issue. I can’t kill anything unless it’s a character who requires a good whooping to death with a school master’s cane (don’t ask).

This morning I waited for Harold and when he appeared I sprayed my concoction in his direction. At the last second as my finger pulled the trigger I thought I should have done more research on this. What if he loved the smell and it made him amorous!

Yikes – it was too late. The mist was flying through air towards him.

Luckily (for me) he took one sniff and took off.

He’s been back twice (he’s determined) but both times I’ve sprayed again and he’s taken great offense and flown away.

By tomorrow my writer’s nook should be Harold free.

Wish me luck!

I thought about my silent struggle with Harold when I saw the Weekly Writing Challenge – The Sound of Silence.

Follow the link to read more ‘silent’ stories.

February 17, 2014 / diannegray

Ten quick writing tips

Someone asked me the other day if I had any writing tips. I thought about it for a nano-second and being the overly-gregarious person I am I scratched my head and said, Not really.

It’s hard to give someone tips because everyone is different and some writers say, never do this or always do that – but writing is a personal thing and what suits one may not suit another. I write because I can’t not write and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Anyhoo – I thought about it more and came up with 10 tips that I’ve learned over the years.

  1. If the couple sitting next to you in the café are arguing about his affair with her sister, try not to move your chair too close to their table while taking notes.
  2. If you base an evil selfish character on your aunt Stella, please don’t call the character Aunt Stella.
  3. Don’t cross your legs while sitting at the computer – thrombosis is painful and pain and creativity don’t work well together.
  4. Be encouraging to others. When your cousin Dora tells you she could write a story better than the one you’ve just finished after ten years hard work, encourage her and say, Please do. It was EASY!
  5. Don’t think aloud about issues of dialogue and plot while pushing your cart down the shopping aisle.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re standing in a corner at a party and a stranger startles you with hello, don’t say, I can’t help it, I’m going to have to kill her off.
  7. Keep a standard response written on a piece of paper near your phone in case of that what are you doing? phone call. My standard response is, ironing unless that person knows I don’t own an iron, and then it’s washing the dishes.
  8. If you need to whine about how upsetting it is to get a rejection letter please don’t do it at a funeral.
  9. Teach noisy children sign language
  10. When someone treats you badly don’t take it to heart – consider it ‘research’.

Do you have any writing tips to add to my list?

February 10, 2014 / diannegray

Beating Multiple Myeloma

I posted a story last year about my 83 (now 84) year old mother who had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. She had multiple tumors through her spine and ribs. You were all fantastic and supportive in your responses and I felt an overwhelming sense of support and love. I can’t tell you how much I admire and love this blogging community.

Some of my blogging friends have been through, or are going through, very serious illnesses and when I read their posts I feel a great deal of compassion and I wish for the day they can write a Tests are all clear! post (you know who you are).

-Now for some good news-

- After 12 months of chemo my mother’s blood tests last week revealed -

:D :D :D  no sign of cancer :D :D :D

*(She is in remission)*

A big CONGRATULATIONS is in order for my mum. I admire her strength and courage – she’s a true champion and I love her dearly!

heart                                                                                       XXXXXX

Now – I hate to add a sour note to this post, but I’m going to:

When I wrote the post about my mother last year I received a comment from someone calling themselves Anon (how original). I didn’t approve it and that’s not because I’m into censorship – I was mainly worried because my mother reads my posts and the comments and I didn’t want her to see such a bitter and negative comment regarding her illness.

Today I responded to Anon and no longer have him/her/it haunting my unapproved comments box.

Anon said

“As an oncology nurse, I find this blog post really distasteful. Myeloma is an incurable cancer and your mother is seriously ill. Insinuating that giving her an ipad and access to your blog would result in a ‘miraculous’ recovery is fantasy at best and seriously trivialising the disease at worst. The work of the Doctors, nurses and carers in stabilising the disease and assisting your mother has not been mentioned. It takes more than ‘on-line love’ to support cancer sufferers.”

I replied

“I haven’t approved this comment until today. The reason being my mother reads my blog and I didn’t want her to think:

  1. You are actually an oncology nurse
  2. You knew what you were talking about when you stated ‘Myeloma is an incurable cancer’
  3. That someone who professes to work in the medical profession could be so blatantly naïve to think that family support and love have no place in medicine.

I am not a doctor so I can neither prescribe nor administer the medicine she needs. I can only do what any other child can do – try to make her happy and comfortable and to feel as if she is loved. When she reads my posts and smiles because I’ve said something funny or she sees a picture of my children or what I’m doing with the house (she can’t travel here to see it for herself) I feel as if I’m doing something instead of nothing.

My mother was given the ‘all clear’ news from her doctor last week. You’re welcome.

I sincerely hope you don’t put comments like this on the posts of other’s who are doing their best to put a smile on a loved one’s face because if anything is distasteful, it’s people like you who think they can take out their negative thoughts and bitterness on others while you wear the mask of Anon.”

That’s enough of my time wasted on oxygen thieves calling themselves Anon.

Time for a champagne :D

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