STREA. KING. Also words. And bats! #random.

Behold, the power of streaks, that lures me here to my computer when I really, really, REALLY just want/need to go to bed. BUT I AM HERE AND BLOGGING AT LEAST SOMETHING BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO BREAK MY STREAK, OKAY?

So y’all get insanity once again. Sorry.

Happy today – I finally started When Worlds Collide, Sanctuary Book 3. Only about a month late, but hey – better late than never?? I’m pretty much planning to do NaNoWriMo this year, because I’ll have to to get WWC in on time – still shooting for a late Feb/early March release. Fingers crossed!!

But anyway, after doing SO much editing and proofing and formatting and all so far this year, it’s SO nice to be back doing *actual writing* (TM) again. Actually, I think this is pretty much the first proper drafting/writing I’ve done all year? Whoa. What even is this.

That considered, it’s even HAPPIER that the words flowed well tonight – about 1750 words in about 40 mins, which is pretty much top speed for me! Yay! I love writing Edge – her voice is just SO easy <3 <3 <3

Anyway, I think that’s literally all I can scrape together the brain power for right now, so I’ll leave you with this adorable bat gif that I discovered today and which I’m pretty sure is going to become my lil mascot (because carrier bats and cookies, right?*). And now Imma go snuggle up in a blanket of my own and sneep. I mean sleep. Or probably at this point just eep, let’s be real. Ha.

G’night!

* If you’re not obsessively following along on Twitter, first of all, what’s wrong with you?** and second of all, I don’t know, I just have this THING where if anyone says something that needs a response, it’s all “*loads up carrier bats with health/congratulatory/celebration/writing/editing/happiness/insert appropriate description here cookies and sends them to you*”. Sadly, the carrier bats have a bad habit of becoming waylaid and getting distracted, and rarely make it to their destinations. A few do, though 😉

** WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE A LIFE????

I’m Only Doing This Because I Promised Myself

See? Streak power at work right here. I had posts for every day last week, so now I want to maintain that. I noted last week that posting once a week was too infrequent for streak-motivation to kick in, but apparently this week-daily bizzo is doing the trick (and let’s face it, the Monday/Friday posts are all prescheduled anyway :D).

So I have things to say and things I thought I’d blog about, but tbh I had like 4.5 hours of sleep last night and I’m fighting off the plague and I’m really all just

right now. So instead you get a random, short, rambly update, I guess about books because… I have nothing else interesting to update you with?

So Sanctuary book three, When Worlds Collide, is officially In The Works. I’ve done a bunch of planning and outlining* and trying to fit together the jigsaw puzzle pieces I’ve left myself in the first two books, and tomorrow I get to actually dive into the writing – assuming I’m up to date with my marking by the time I get home, anyway 😉 At the moment I have it scheduled for release at the end of Feb, but that will depend on me maintaining a moderately gruelling schedule for the next 2.5 months, so it may end up tipping over into March. We Shall See.

And then that wraps up the Sanctuary series, and WHOA OH MY GOSH I WROTE AN ENTIRE SERIES. o.O Y’all have no idea how WEIRD that concept is.

But I’m SUPER excited about what’s coming after that. You might remember that last year I went and stayed with the Twinny One in the US, which was AWWWWWESOME, and that we spent a large amount of time Plotting All The Things, and that one of said Things was the big and tangled novel I have drafted that we detangled, reoutlined, and generally tidied up, filming the whole experience because… why not?

Anyway, yeah, that one. Ferrets and sarcasm and enemies-to-lovers and Mercury, the super-smart, super-possessive, super-snarky, super-SLYTHERIN main character. A bunch of people have read early drafts of this one, and you guys, you are going to love it. Promises. So. Much. FUN.

I’m really looking forward to getting it done and out :3

I’m also super looking forward to some writing courses I’m doing over Christmas, but that’s probably of less general interest! 😀

Anyway, the gloriously savoury scent of roasting potatoes and rosemary is letting me know my dinner is finally cooked, so Imma go deal with that. Food. I hear it’s good to eat.**

Hope you’re having an okay start to your week! <3

 

* I’m not an obsessive outliner, I don’t outline All The Things in comprehensive detail, but I do appreciate a road map.

** This, friends, is called irony, because I have recently learned that I am literally, actually, 100% medically confirmed food intolerant. More on that possibly later this week. *sigh*.

*Tap Tap* This thing on? (AKA The Power of Streaking)

Wow. It’s October already. How did that happen? How I am, like, making appointments and lesson plans and things through to the end of November already? How has it been six million years since I last blogged?

…Okay, so the answer to that last one is, as we all know, that I still suck at blogging, though I’m *slowly* getting better, and *le gasp*, I actually have most Monday/Friday posts done for the rest of the year.

So, y’know, even if I die you’ll still have content 😛 #macabrehumour

ANYWAY.

Wow.

I actually don’t even know where to start, which is kind of why I’ve been delaying writing this post for the last two weeks. I mean, I just had a book come out and everything, you’d think I’d have blogged that. But because I hadn’t blogged in SO. LONG., it felt kind of weird to come back with a ‘hey btw I made a new book’ post, I guess. Hence, avoiding it >.<

I found the secret to making myself do it, though. School’s gone back this week, and although I have a mountainous-crazy to-do list because I didn’t do enough school work in the holidays because publishing blew up on me in the first week and I got commissioned for three cakes in the second week…

I actually completed my epic to-do list yesterday.

Granted, I had to stay up until 1:45am to get it done (*wince* don’t tell my family), but IT GOT DONE, DARN IT ALL. And so today, when I realized I was likely to get through my to-do list for the SECOND DAY IN A ROW… Well, streak-psychology kicked in. As in, two-in-a-row-is-practically-a-streak-I-have-to-keep-this-going.

And one of the few remaining tasks on my list today is – you guessed it – blogging, so blogging I dutifully am, because I will have my streak, darn it all.

As it turns out, streak psychology is actually a really great motivator (though it can be used for nefarious intent – I’ve heard of a few problems recently with young teens and a snapchat addiction, because snapchat (yet another social media app) records ‘streaks’, i.e. how many days in a row you’ve talked with a particular friend, encouraging you to make sure you chat to all those friends again tomorrow to maintain said streak). I was browsing Dean Wesley Smith’s site the other night and noticed that he talks about streaks as a motivator for writing, too. Relevant, as I’m diving in Sanctuary Book 3 after this weekend, so I’ll need to ‘streak’ writing as well as everything else. (I’m plotting it out this week/on the weekend.)

So I guess I need to harness the power of the streak on the blog, and try to get that happening – and for exercise, too. The problem seems to be that once-a-week isn’t frequent enough to feel like a streak, even if you hit the goal ten weeks in a row.

Maybe I’ll try doing short, rambly blog posts like this every second day or something to get into the habit? Heaven knows that if you’ve been reading the blog/hanging out with me for long enough, you’ll be used to ramble.

Who knows, I might even discuss that new books that I released two weeks ago, and the con I went to, and the book night I hosted at home. With, like, photos and stuff.

But for now, blogging can be crossed off my to-do list (:D) and I have to get the kid inside for his gymnastics lesson.

I hope you’re all surviving okay, and I guess have a think about how you could harness streak!power in your life rn. If you do, please share in the comments! I’d love to know 🙂

If You Want To Get Out Alive (Run For Your Life)

I don’t know, this song feels kind of relevant this week. I’m drowning in school work and the world, and just… yeah. I feel like I’m running just to stay alive. The good news, though, is that tomorrow? SCHOOL. HOLIDAYS. I get two weeks of no work (though I have way too much I still need to do, of course). But anyway. Here’s to keeping running, and to hanging out for your next break

The League is BACK!

Starting this week, my monthly contribution to the Darkness & Good blog for the next little while will be chapters from my book, The League of Absolutely Ordinary Superheroes! In keeping with the spirit of the D&G blog, the offerings are raw and unedited – but hopefully you’ll enjoy them regardless 😉 A couple of things to note:

  1. Yes, if you’re a loooooong time reader you’ll recognise the first half of this story 🙂
  2. Not keen on serials in case the author doesn’t get around to finishing them? NEVER FEAR! LAOS chapters are scheduled through to the end of the year, which is halfway through the book. Tune in next year for the probably-thrilling second half!
  3. Yes, when all the chapters are FINALLY released there will be an ebook. Is true. Hurrah for the end of next year, I guess? O:)

4? No. I think 3 is it. So there you go: new story, pretty story, read story: go!

Darkness & Good button with red text on a white background, with shadowed, dark grey leaves in the background. The leaves have red ribs and stems. Link goes to http://darknessandgood.blogspot.com. The League of Absolutely Ordinary Superheroes

Sing Oh For The Want Of A Phone

You wouldn’t read about it. (Unless, of course, you are here now reading this text, in which case, SURPRISE! You are about to read about it!) You know how my wallet has been missing for a Significant Period Of Time? Well. WELL.

Episode nine-hundred-million in Amy Does All The Things: This Time, A Baby Shower Cake. This baby shower cake, in fact, if you are interested in pictures (and if you’re not, you might want to blink for a moment, ‘cause Imma post one here anyway HA).

Front shot of cake, a single-tier 23cm round cake covered in fondant (with sharp corners!), sprayed gold, with a glittery gold dream catcher centered on the front side of the cake (it extends above the edge of the cake by about a centimetre); three sprays of purpley-blue wisteria are arranged around the bottom of the cake at the front on the white platter; they are filled out with three baby pink daisies, three white daisies, some white daisy buds, a few wisteria leaves, and a gold glittery feather or leaf made to match the dreamcatcher.

This instalment of Doing All The Things involved finishing work, heading home to collect the fam + one extraordinary Canadian, packing All The Things into the car (because Cake, and trust me, when I say All The Things and there is Cake involved, I pretty much actually do mean ALL the things, forbearing only that proverbial kitchen sink), and driving 2.5 hours to my mother’s house. This is because I am a super sane individual who would never agree to make a cake for someone interstate during term time that they wanted ready for collection at 730am on Saturday morning.

AH HA HA HA HA.*

Oh yeah, SANE, that’s totally me.

Ahem.

ANYWAY, I’d also had a particularly emotional day at work, and packing All The Things was busy and intense because I was rushing because I really, really wanted to get to Mum’s asap so I didn’t have to stay up ucod***** to finish the derned cake. Lodged somewhere in the back of my consciousness was the fact that my phone was running flat, and I needed to grab my charger so that once we finally arrived at Mum’s, I could put set phone on to charge.

I grabbed the charger. We arrived at Mum’s. We hastily made beds for the small people (well, person; the larger of the small people is big enough for a non-small-person bed) and put them to bed, and lo, I dug into the cake. (Literally; I had to level the thing off first and foremost, har.)

And then there was this super lovely moment where husband revealed the good news he’d alluded to when he’d collected me from school: He’d Found My Wallet.

Rejoice!

Celebrate!

Sing oh for a wallet in its place!

…If only the story ended here. But it doesn’t, and because you are a Well-Trained Reader and because I have used Adequate Amounts of Foreshadowing, y’all know exactly what my next words are going to be (squee, mind-reading!):

I can’t. find. my phone.

As of writing this my phone has now been missing for five days and I have to say, it’s gigantically more of a pain in the bee-hind than losing my wallet ever was. I HAVE NO PHONE. This leads to tremendously awkward situations like realising I have a scheduling clash****** and having to pull a call out ON FACEBOOK to ask for babysitting assistance.

Or like my husband being called to say the baby need collecting from daycare because: Sick, only I’m the one with the car but also did I mention no phone, and him having to send me emails about this and me being three steps away from class (I lie: I was actually IN the classroom when I read said email, though to be fair the students weren’t yet, nor had the final bell gone. PHEW.).

BLAH.

PHONELESSNESS.

WHAT EVEN IS THIS.

And we don’t even have a landline, so I am all like HEY I NEED TO CALL— and then I’m like BUT WAIT NO I CAN’T.

So you know. Doing All The Things, new subtitle: Perpetually Hunting For My Stuff. Or you know. Just, My Life: Losing All The Things. Or at the moment: Do All The Things (Except All Those Things That Require A Phone).

THIS IS SERIOUSLY CRAMPING MY STYLE, Y’ALL.

MY STYLE.

CRAMPING.

Oy.

Also, vey.

And if you have spare positive thoughts you could send towards my phone, I’d definitely appreciate them <3

* To be fair, I did practise being assertive and informed them that the cake could only be collected at 11:30am, because I did require SOME sleep after all.**

** “Some” in this case means about 5.5 hours; I finished up at 2am for the night***, showered, went to bed, and groggily arose 15 minutes after my alarm went off, at 8:30am.

*** This is one of those TOO TIRED TO OPERATE DO NOT DRIVE HEAVY MACHINERY moments, because I literally could have gone to bed 1.5 hours earlier but I broke the first batch of ganache**** and didn’t make quite enough the second time >.<

**** By which I mean, I was stupid enough to assume that even though white chocolate ganache is a finicky little bastard to work with, because I had been successful once before I would thus be successful again, at late notice, running short of sleep. Spoiler: I was not successful.

***** Until Crack Of Dawn (TM)

****** Wait, no, realising I had a scheduling clash was caused by my own stupidity, not by losing my phone. Though if losing my phone was caused also by said stupidity we can extrapolate that possibly this splitting hairs. Woo, extrapolation! *\o/* <— (a pompom-waving person, in case that needed clarification)

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So, About Those Priorities

Trying so, so hard to make this wonderful quote from the inestimable Maggie Stiefvater my mantra this year. I’ve noted before that getting enough sleep is the key to managing my stress levels, anxiety, and also healthy eating. Some days I’m better at it than others. When we have company, I SUCK at it, because although I do actually passionately adore sleeping (because DREEEEEAMS, y’all, DREEEEEEEEEAMS!!!), people are also INCREDIBLY SHINY and VERY, VERY STICKY, just like this lounge I’m presently sitting on which is super sticky because I should get up and go to bed but it seems like someone has superglued me here oh wait that’s just the remnants of the kids’ breakfast okay never mind move along nothing to see here. O:)

SLEEP. I should get some, you should get some, and we all should be happy and sleep together.

Uh, um, or not. I mean, like we should all sleep at the same time. Or, like, in times appropriate to our particular time zone. Or, look, you know what? Just go to bed already, okay? I don’t care what time it is, just go… sleep.

Sleep is important. You should probably get some.

<3

Every Time.

Every time I begin to despair about the futility of my efforts, the largeness of the task, the apparently insurmountable stupidity that stands between us and a better world… Every time, when I am tempted to give up, to feel like nothing I do could posibly matter, I am sent something that reminds me otherwise.

One week these stories.

The next, this blog post.

And today, this awesome video.

Enjoy.