Friday 30 July 2010

Wasn't I supposed to leave?

Still no fuel.
Don't you think that's cruel?
Greece, you're a touristic jewel.
But also an insensitive mule.
Should you look up the definition of 'rule'?
Yes, I think you should, you heartless tool.
What are you trying to do?
Perhaps I should sue?
Yeah, but who?

(The sound that accompanies this Greek gesture is 'nah' - which basically means 'fuck you you fucking wanker'. Yes, this is the parliament building in the background.)
(PS: Count the syllables in each line of the poem. Notice anything?)
(PPS: If on Monday I post again, it means I'm still here. Ugh.)
(PPPS: Who wants a margarita, made by moi? I make 'em GOOOOD. I used to run a bar. Yes, I did. I bet you didn't know that, huh, huh?
And I used to like to make broom broom noises while I was actually riding a motorbike - you'd think the real thing was enough, I know.)

Question for ya: What is the first sign of aging?
My answer: When 20 somethings stop gawking, but 60 somethings do. Ugh.

How about you? What's your answer?

Thursday 29 July 2010

When my mind sways towards the morbid ...

Well, this is my last day (again!) of blogging until 16th August. This time for a REAL vacation. I don't have to work for two weeks! YAY!
So I'm going to leave you with a poem, which was actually inspired by a book, written by a fellow blogger of ours, Karen Gowen. It's called Farm Girl (the book, not my poem). 
Now I say inspired, not based on. Do not get these words confused :o) My mind can sway towards the morbid quite often, and in this case it has.

This could probably do with a little tweaking, but here you are anyway ...

As the fire burns, so does hate
Daddy’s children run through the open gate
The sun is hot and the grass is dry
Mummy cries as crops begin to die

The drought has lasted many months
And the carving tools have grown quite blunt
The baby cries – it tries to breathe
The mother sighs – she tries to weave

Father kills their last little lamb
And collects dirty water from the dried up dam
He prays to the heavens for it to rain
Prays for a savior to wash away their pain

They can no longer live on water and bread
Pretty soon he thinks they’ll all be dead
They huddle together on their collapsing porch
Waiting for the flames to burn and scorch

Believe in miracles, Daddy does not
Behind the pickles, he finds his last shot
To save his family – thier lives he must claim
And believe life must end, to begin again

On shot. Two shots. Three shots. Four?
He pokes his head through the fly wire door
His family lie dead on the crackling lawn
Begging for their souls to be reborn

As the fire burns, so does hate
He listens to it roar, past the open gate
The flames are hot, and his mouth is dry
The time has come
for the last

Check back on the 16th August. I've got a really awesome surprise for you all during that week, and believe me, you won't want to miss it! ;o)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Are They Jealous?

Ok, I've been reading through some readers' reviews in Goodreads lately, and I have to say, the state of them is appalling! Why do readers put authors down so viciously? Are they jealous? Do they not know a good book when they see one? Do they not know how to search for and appreciate the good things in a book? Fine, it may not be for them, but don't read the first 50 pages and say 'This book is a piece of crap.' Do they not realise that writers learn as they go? Obviously not. Give us writers some credit people! I'd like to see you try and write a novel and get it published!
Angry ...

How does it make you feel when you see people flippantly criticising authors when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about?

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Fuel Strike Brings Us Home :o(

I'm back for the next week due to a fuel strike. We feared me might be stranded without any left in the tank! We got down to half a tank of fuel - just enough to get us back to Athens. So that's what we had to do. Boo.

Because of our plans to travel around the mainland this week, we have been hotel hopping, and a place to stay on Ithaca again isn't available until at least the 5th August. Can't stay with my parents right now, as there's some shit going down at their humble abode, but luckily, due to my mother's real estate agent status, we can get a cottage for free. Thanks, Mum!

So it looks like we'll have to make the most of home until we can return, but you know what that means, don't you? I'm back to blogging this week! Yay! Always squeeze a positive out of a negative. It prevents lasting disappointment.

So, on that positive note, I'll leave you with some snaps of our trip so far to ooh and ahh over :o)

Ithaca, view from where we were staying
Klitoria - clouds on the ground?

Lake Ladonas - again :o)

Xyropigaro - seaside village in the Peloponnese

Monday 26 July 2010

After 30 years of lies, trust sounds like a hiss and a spit.

Say it over and over again and it doesn't sound so secure. It sounds like a hiss and then a spit. A hiss to scare the wits out of you, and then a spit because it doesn't actually taste as good as you thought. It sounds and tastes like a caution "taste me in small doses, because I can be deceiving."

Why, when we love someone, do we trust so easily?
Why, when we love someone, do we just expect it in return?
Why, when we love someone, do we believe that what we see is what we get?
Why, when we love someone, do we want to trust them more than anything?
Why, when we love someone, do we allow trust to be broken over and over again?
Why, when we love someone, and that trust is broken, do we lie to ourselves and say we will overcome it, and then pretend to trust them?
Why, when we love someone, and trust someone with all our hearts, do we lose trust in ourselves?

What would you do, if the only person you have loved and been devoted to for the last 30 years, breaks your trust? Not only breaks your trust, but makes you realise, that everything you thought was true over the last 30 years, is not, and you have actually been devoting yourself to a compulsive liar, and believing everything, simply because you love them, and trust them?

You feel a fool. You want to run. But you can't. Because you're haunted by the love, the history between you, what you thought was real, and you think you are going to get it back, but deep down, you know you won't, because trust is now a caution. It's a hiss and a spit. It's telling you to get out - to get out before is hisses and spits again - and again - and again - until you are so heartbroken that you don't know how to live any more.

(this is not about me, folks - so please don't be alarmed)

How do you quench the thirst to write on vacation?

Lake Ladonas, Peloponnese, Greece (artificial lake, made in 1955)

Ok, well, I'm not back, but I'm sticking my nose in (where it's wanted, I hope!), taking a sip of what I've been missing out on these past two weeks. I hope you don't mind ;o).

I tell you what, though, I sure have been missing writing my book. I haven't been able to sit still long enough to get stuck into writing, so I guess it'll have to wait until I return to my purple and turquoise office.

Do you ever feel guilty for not writing when you are on vacation? I know I shouldn't feel guilty, and I should just be enjoying my "time off". If only it was really "time off" - I've actually been working while I've been away, which has been a SHIT - PAIN IN THE BUTTOCKS! I just want to forget about work and enjoy the travelling. (Oh yeah, I suppose I should mention that we've left Ithaca for a week to spend some time on the mainland. See the photo I took above of where we stopped a couple of days ago.)

Anyhoo, how do you quench your thirst to write when you're away on vacation? I drown the urge with margaritas ... hehehe.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Just dropping in with a few photos :o)

Hi everyone!

I miss you all SOOOOO much, so I thought I'd drop in and share a couple of photos with you. These are snaps of where I'm at. The place is called Ithaca, and it's BEOOOTIFUL! :o)

View from Kathara Monastery
View of Aphales Bay from Exoghi
Aphales Beach (Just 10 minutes walk from where we are staying.)
Veiw from where we are staying (oh yeah ...)
Me (in blue) looking a little drunk and pleased with myself after participating in Greek dancing at Exoghi Panagiri (festival) ! :o)

Hope you are all having a great summer!!!!! Miss you and thinking of you all!!!!


Wednesday 7 July 2010

My last words for the week.

Swamped with work and deadlines to meet and shopping to do and bags to pack and bills to pay and scooter parts to buy and rooms to clean and clothes to wash ... *deep beath*
But all is for good reason because we are going away.
So that leaves me with this to say ...
I received a rejection on a partial last night and needed to cry but I couldn't because of an overwhelming ache in my chest. Not an ache. An emptiness. This emptiness made me come up with a beautiful description too, of how it felt (thank you Jen for the gmail chat last night). I said to Jen that my chest feels like there is a ghost inside it breathing all my air. My soul was choking me from the inside out. But this made me wonder ... what do I do with all this sorrow inside me? So, I sat on my bed and continued to read Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson and look at the beautiful paragraph I came across, just when I needed it:

"Our dream of life will end as dreams do end, abruptly and completely, when the sun rises, when the light comes. And we will think, All that fear and all that grief were about nothing. But that cannot be true. I can't believe we will forget our sorrows altogether. That would mean forgetting that we had lived, humanly speaking. Sorrow seems to me to be a great part of the substance of human life."

I looked up from the book and I closed it. I closed my eyes, switched off the light, and sat in darkness. In silence. Listening to the hum of motionlessness. And I thought, 'This is sorrow. I can hear it hum around me and brush against my skin. The sorrow that keeps my senses alive. I will cherish it. I will feel it and recognise it and consider it a vital part of my existence. I will enjoy it as I do the happiness, and then I will move forward. Because without the sorrow, we would never feel the relief. And when the relief comes, so will the happiness. So whenever relief and happiness are ready for me, I am ready for them. And in the meantime, the sorrow can follow me around for a while. At least to remind me that I can 'feel'; that I am human.
That I am me.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Interview with Jennifer Daiker!!!

Yay! Finally you are being interviewed, Jen! About (@*#%) time! (oh wait … didn’t you get interviewed by Justine Dell once?)

I was a guest blogger for the lovely Justine Dell but never have been interviewed! It is quite the honor *blushng* so thanks for having me!

Okey dokey let's get started...
1. You say you write fantasy, but after reading your WIP summaries, I realized that they primarily explore the reality of human ideals and values, yet you sprinkle them with the essence of the paranormal. Do you have reasons for doing this? Can you explain them for us?

All of my current works explore human ideals and values. I think it’s important to learn a little more about yourself through each novel you read. Since human values are very important to me, my stories normally revolve around what my MC truly values.
 The Traveler’s is a paranormal fantasy novel. Working with the in-between and an alternate universe can be tricky, especially on top of trying to find a killer and having the MC discover a little more about what makes them tick. But again, human ideals and values come into play when she is forced to make a difficult choice.

Stella’s Story - Getting to Peloria is a historical fantasy novel. This story doesn’t have any paranormal elements, it is just a story about a girl who finds herself wondering what life would be like without rules, without social status and what it’s like to fall in love. This story has a few twists and turns but overall is just a fun light read for a teenager.
The Collector, an adult novel, is another story that is entirely different from the first two. The MC is a serial killer, and he begins to question his own human values when it comes tothe victims. But just to give you a spoiler, the killer does not become soft in the end; he must kill until he is caught.

2. Which authors inspire you? Who do you read over and over again until the pages are torn and why? And do you cherish little phrases, and mark them in the margin with a pencil (like me) just to go back and admire the beauty of the words? If not, what little idiosyncratic attributes do you possess when you read?

Hmm inspiring authors, I would have to say Sharon Shinn and J.K. Rowling inspire me the most. I would say they are inspiring because they too explore human values, bringing what’s most important to them to the page.

For Sharon Shinn I read The Truth Tellers Tale (you know I love!) and Castle Auburn again and again because the world and characters she creates are beautiful and well thought out. Each of her characters discover their own human values as the stories move forward, just like each of my characters do.

J.K. Rowling’s descriptions of her alternate world strive me to be better and more detailed when creating mine. Granted I don’t plan on having seven instalments of the series I create but reading her works allows me to better develop the worlds I create, make sure I answer any questions a reader might have later on, but might not necessarily make it in the book.

I’m not much for marking phrases in books but if you come to my house you’ll know which are my favorite by the worn out pages.

3. Congratulations on finishing Stella’s story! That must feel like such a relief to have finished that first draft. What are you going to do now? Will you edit it, or leave it to sit for a while and work on something else? I, for one, believe letting something sit is highly beneficial. Do you believe that? Why?

Thank you! I was very excited to finish and I can already tell my writing has improved quite a bit from writing The Traveler’s. I have since printed out the novel and put it in my three ring binder along with all the collages that go with it. The hubs is the first to read it, get his initial impression (He only knew the synopsis for it) I asked him to use post-it’s for things he didn’t like, questions that arose, and parts he really liked.

He finished this morning and had some very helpful thoughts and overall enjoyed the book. Now the hard part comes, I’ve forced myself to wait three days before reading it. Normally I grab it and immediately start revisions but this one will have to rest, at least for three days. I think it’s important to have a fresh and open mind, it helps you find your confusing pieces and mistake’s more easily.

(three days?! Wow that’s quick. I let mine sit for weeks! But again, I’m slow, remember?)

4. I think it’s pretty amazing that a writer who is more fantasy inclined is attempting to write a horror story. How do you go about switching roles when working on two completely opposite genres? Does it affect your mood, and how do you deal with that on an everyday basis? Also, what kind of research do you conduct to get into your killer’s mind?

My dreams play a huge part in the genres I choose. I don’t normally have to switch roles,
when the rain starts the only one who speaks to me is The Collector. He is terrifying and I normally write for an hour or two with him a night, sometimes only that per week. It does affect my mood and normally I have to watch a chick flick so I’m able to fall asleep without having nightmares. Research for my Killer isn’t really required, the story sits in my mind for a rainy day, I think I know him more than I know any of my other characters, though if I need to be scared crapless to get in the mood I watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds.

5. Right. Some ‘this or that’ questions …please answer these and explain why.

Bones or Glee: Glee, never watched Bones, I’m more of a Criminal Minds type of gal!
(Ah, me a Bones gal. Me love me some good bones)

Madonna or Michael Jackson: Definitely Madonna she’s too fabulous, no explanation needed.

Mountains or Beach: Beach, without a doubt! Lying in my bikini with a cocktail in hand and the waves serenading me, perfect.
(I actaully prefer the mountains. Especially in the middle of nowhere. Silence.)

Life without books or life without music: Life without music, this was easy though, the hubs and I are the people who don’t even listen to music while in the car driving to work.
(See, this I would not be able to choose. And luckily I don't have to because I'm not the one be asked ;o)

Life with love and no sex, or life with sex and no love: Life with love and no sex, sex has no real meaning without love, and I love, love. :)

Life without sound and smell, or life without sight and touch: Life without sound and smell. This one is tough only because in the end I wouldn’t be able to write, read or even see, but I have the images in my head and to miss the sound and smell of the things I miss the most would be far worse.
(Again, a hard one. Who thought of these questions anyway?)

Well, Jen, thanks so much for coming today! It was a fantabulous pleasure to have you! :o)
So, have you got any questions for Jen? If so, ask away in the comments and I'll do a follow up post with all your questions and Jen's answers (when she has time).

(PS: UK NO GO. One position, they want someone with PhD (pfft!), the other I'm way over qualified for, as it's an entry level position, so no way. Ah, well. I suppose I'm quite relieved ...)

Monday 5 July 2010

My writing corner for our eyes only (Shhh!)

Last Friday Zoe from No Letters On My Keyboard posted about her writing nook and shared photos with us. It was supposed to be a group effort thing last Friday, and linked to The Rejectionist's blog, but seeing as I'm late, I'm just going to share this with all my blog buddies and link to Zoe's page. Fair? Fair.
Okey Dokey ... this is also where I work, because I work from home. I LOVE my office and this office would be sorely missed if I were to leave Athens. I'm already in tears over the sacrifices I'd have to make. But anyway, I shouldn't let my mind run away with it's imagination because I don't even know what I'm doing yet.

Right, this is where the magic happens ... or doesn't happen. In which case, this is where I like to:
1 drink my morning coffee
2 rub Holly's belly with my feet while I convince myself I'm writing
3 read your blogs when I'm blocked
4 read your blogs when I'm supposed to be working
5 read your blogs and then email my boss (es) to tell them I'm going to be a bit late in submitting my work because of some unforseen issues with our plumbing (if anyone I work for is reading this - I'm joking, ok?)
6 drink coffee, eat choc-chip biscuits, ice cream, chocolate mousse, or Greek yoghurt with melon and honey (if I decide I need to cut down on the sweets)
7 surf the internet for medical and archaeological terminology for my WIP, then try to think of puns to go with them so I sound smart.
8 start dreaming about UK and suddenly deciding to apply for jobs at Hodder Headline and Penguin (yeah, right, keep dreaming Jessica)
9 watch episodes of so you think you can dance via megavideo
10 ignore my fiance's pleas to make some dinner (he's becoming a good cook lately)

So, I could go on with this list but I might bore you. For now, I'll leave you with a few more pics :o)

PS: I painted the walls myself :o) pretty cool, huh?
So, where does your magic happen?

(Tomorrow tune in for an interviw with Jen Daiker of Unedited!)

Friday 2 July 2010

Snapped up in five minutes for friday :o)

Deary me, Oh Deidre dear
You spend your life wrapped up in fear
Just look ahead into the year
See all you will achieve?

Deary me, Oh Deidre dear
Come here and let me bend your ear
Listen to me now, you hear?
No room to be naive!

Deary me, Oh Deidre dear
Holy cow, is that a tear?
I told you we are in the clear!
And joy we shall receive!

So deary Deidre, listen here
Life's short and you must persevere
Once we've had our chips and beer
Your courage you shall retrieve.

Thursday 1 July 2010

I'm freaking freaking freaking OUT!

Ok, here's the thing. The other day I was thinking that I should be living in an English speaking country so that I have access to all the weird and wonderful writer's events, conferences etc, blah blah. The next day I get an email from a company (won't name them just in case I'm not allowed) inviting me for an interview in the UK, for a permanent position. I didn't even apply for it, they found my CV on file from the freelance work I have done for them. I assume. How else would they get a hold of it?
The day after that, one of the people I work for at another UK company I freelance for has told me she has resigned and her position is available, and that she'll recommend me.

Holy COW what is going on folks? I'm freaking OUT!
Is the world trying to tell me that I should relocate from Greece to UK? What should I do? Should I seriously be considering this? Is this a sign to get out of here before Greece goes completely bankrupt?