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Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Newsy Sort of Post.

Just because I haven't been newsy for a few posts.

Here are three of my babies.  They are getting more grown up but it takes a while.

The little little roosters already fight a lot.  They all like to sit on stuff for naps.  They are having an absolute ball being free range around the place.   Guinevere is prettiest.  King Pellinore is the biggest and bossiest.   I have yet to decide which rooster is staying. Actually apparently they should be called cockerels and pullets until they get used for breeding.  I've been watching a Wyandotte Fanciers' group on Facebook and learning a lot.  :)

Word back from my first readers is that they love my new book and it is better than the first one, which is good news since the first one was pretty popular too.   It's very encouraging for an author to hear such good news!  I am doing my final read through now, then it is time to do the formatting for kindle and print editions. 

The cover art is almost painted, but I won't show you that yet.  Only this sketch I did as part of my working out.   It's Grace O'Malley, a new character from the book.   She is going to drape herself across the back cover.

I took this pic of the Jimny the other day.  It amused me how tiny it looks amongst the tall trees of our home. 

The two new lyres are coming along.

It took quite a while to rout out the hollow for the deeper lyre, to be called Torc.  It got easier once I'd done the free hand stuff and could lock the router into the jig to do the bulk of the work. 

The second lyre, Fréowine,  is shallower, like my own Mondream.  It was faster to rout as only took one pass on each area instead of three, but I nearly had an accident when the router took off at the end of a bit I'd been working on.  I just managed to stop it from getting right through the wall of the lyre!  Yikes!

Anyway, both are now hollowed out and I have made the tops for them.  Next is glueing and clamping. 

I'm currently determined to make sure I get some quiet time in nature on Druid Wednesdays, as I call them, so this week we took our lunch sandwiches up to Lake Leschenaultia, which is quite near where we live.  We don't go there enough because dogs are banned.  Mainly because of all the tame birds.  The Australian Marsh Hens are stupidly tame and terrible raiders of people's bags! 

Dinosaur much?  :D

Who you calling a dinosaur?  And give me some of your lunch!

It was lovely, bird raids and all! 

Last sunday I went and watched my darling sis, Jenny, ride her new horse, Snow, in the her first riding club rally since her big accident five months ago.  She had fun and they looked gorgeous despite it being their first real chance to try jumping together.

I think they both enjoyed it! 

How cute is he?  Like a great big pretty pony! 

Jen, Molly and I have been going to a women's only Kung Fu class with these guys.  It is the same school that did the great self defence class some months back.  I love the instructor, Rachael, and the atmosphere is so nice being only ladies.  If you have ever wanted to have a go at a martial art but felt intimidated by the possible blokiness, this might be the class for you!  (And by the way, the men of the school are also lovely and not blokey either.) 

We had a pretty cool sunset last night.  I like how the clouds obligingly went light in the dark bit of the sky and dark in the light bit of the sky.  :D

The afghan is coming on slowly, but Mr Fitty Kitty keeps beating me to the punch and sitting on it, so it isn't coming as fast as I'd like.  Maybe he knows how well it matches his eyes?

I hope the week treats you well.  I have some interesting things afoot, but more on that anon!



Thursday, 22 February 2018

It's Awkward Family Photo Time!

Yay!  Been a photo-y few weeks really.   Been a few years since we got pics of the family, so it was definitely time!

Jem's growing family minus their oldest, Teelah, who had other commitments. 
They've grown up a little bit since 2013!

The best one?

Nice catch Andrew!  :D  

Uncle Greggy kicking back. 

Niamh, Jen and Molly
Pippa, Jen and Kelly

Mum and Angus

Niamh and Pippa

Tina, Rosie and Tuppence.  

It was worth the awkwardness!  Many thanks to Andyroo for getting out the good camera and taking the pics for us!  


Monday, 19 February 2018

Amazing Photos.

I needed a new author photo, so Dave from our Bush Fire Brigade came around to take some for me.  I can't thank him enough!  He made me look so good.  :D   At 52, I reckon it will be the last time I ever get away with having photos taken that make me look so very young, and yet also wise and authory at the same time!

What do you think?


A bit cheekier?


And he also got some lovely ones of me with my dogs.

I like the effect of this one.  Makes it look like my dogs are demon familiars!  Might have to use it for inside the second Satan Smith book...

Dave takes real estate photos for a living, but I think he should branch out into portraiture!  Thanks again, Dave.  You truly epitomise what it should mean to be part of a Firey family!       


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Wanderer on Anglo-Saxon Lyre

Wow, finally got around to recording a new song! 

It's "Wanderer," originally done by Leslie Fish.  It's one of my faves to sing as I go about the place doing chores. 

It's about Odin, so of course I love it, but also I like the theme of changing your fate (your Wyrd) by how you comport yourself in the world. 

"Pattern’s always weaving
More than you can see
With courage, wit and kindness
Strength and honesty
You’ll weave the pattern round you
Better than you know
Take the old man’s blessing
That he’ll give before he’ll go."


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What Do the Bored People Do?

I have no idea. i never have enough time for all the fun stuff I want to do.

My latest book has gone out to first readers. Yay!  It's an exciting time waiting to hear what they think!  Now it is time to play with cover ideas.  How do you like my silly attempt in Gimp just to try out my idea?

LOL, I wonder why I bother to do real artwork?  Not!   :D

The two lyres are slowly progressing. Using the router is a tad terrifying, but so far so good, no holes in places there shouldn't be.

This is the deeper experimental lyre.  It already has a name. It is called Torc, which is Irish and Old Irish for Boar.  The name came about due to something I experienced in a meditation.  Boar has long been one of my guides.  I even bear his mark after a farm accident!

Mowing has been happening.  How scruffy can I look?  I'm told I should stop wearing the clothes that are now too big for me, but I say waste not want not!  (Plus I love some of these t-shirts too much to let them go!)

We've created another home sausage-making addict in Thor, our Firey friend.  He came for a guitar lesson and went away a sausage fanatic, already researching new recipes to try!

Yes it looks rude.  It always looks rude. We've made a lot of sausages by now and we aren't over it yet.  Amusement abounds.  :D

Yep ok, I can see that t-shirt may be a little bit too big now.

We took the dogs to the river on Monday morning early.  They loved it.

Aren't these silhouettes and the blue lovely together?

The chickies are still growing and having fun.  I'll get some new pics of them for you soon.

Friday, 9 February 2018

New Verandah!

I know, I've having a blogging break and i never warned you that I would.  Sorry about that!  It just seems like I've been so busy and every time I sit down at the computer I want to edit my latest book instead of blogging.  I guess that's a good thing!

One reason we've been so busy is the new verandah.

How it was:

 With the canopy off and a weatherboard removed ready for rafters.

 Framing up.

Getting there!
Corro going on!


It was all enlivened by having the baby chickens underfoot.  They are getting bigger all the time and are very friendly.  Here is little Morgana trying out the big girls' sleeping perch.

 They aren't trying to sleep up there yet.  They still put themselves to bed in the nest down below, the little cuties, despite the fact that mama Spotty is back with the other hens and being just as mean to them as the other girls.  I thought having them grow up a part of the flock would make the join easier but apparently not.  Red chooks just gotta hate!

And here is the Virginia Creeper growing out of the old chimney for the braemar that used to be down below.  It goes down under the eave rather than into the cottage so we've never bothered to cover or remove it.

And here is one of the grand old Marris up at the block.  What a canopy!

Who needs cathedrals?   


Monday, 5 February 2018

Seven Random Things About Me.

Seven random things about me:

I know how to hand cut and braid kangaroo hide because I was lucky enough to learn it at the feet of a 94 year old saddler who was from three generations of saddlers. He was a lovely old man and used to tell me stories of his life as we sat outside in the shade of a beautiful tree and did our work. He also had a tame magpie who would bite my ankles till I did Ttouch on her until she was so relaxed she had crept up into my lap and fallen asleep, and she decided I was ok after that.
The best moment of my horse-riding life might have been this time, I was maybe 17, and I was galloping a palouse pony down this sandy hill bareback and he tripped and staggered forward for a few hair-raising strides and tipped me off, but I ran alongside with my hands stilled gripped in his mane and vaulted back on at full gallop. No-one saw it, sadly!

I have a Second Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, that I earned after 7 years of training and grading. I was 39 when I passed that grading. I started by going to a self defense course and found I was good at it and loved it and it went from there. Andrew, my hubby, who was already a Black Belt in Karate came along too and we trained together at home and passed all our gradings the same day apart from our Black Belts, where I pulled a muscle in my calf halfway and had to redo that grading a few weeks later.

From the ages of 10 to 30 I had a stepdad who was not only a sociopath but had munchausen's and munchausen's by proxy, as well.  It has shaped me in very odd ways, some good, some not so good. I am proud, though, that I became ever more honest rather than follow his example. It made me ever more determined to be a good and honorable person. My mum and sister and I survived him and stayed together. It was quite an accomplishment. He is still alive somewhere and I will be really happy the day I know he is dead because no-one else will need to suffer from him or be changed irrevocably by him ever again.

When I was a teen I got a ten week old puppy called Keech who was a Kelpie (local herding dog) crossed with who knows what. She was so beautiful, with her broad head, black and tan coat, gold-flecked brown eyes, and tall pointed ears. She was my heart, my sister, mother and friend, for fifteen years. She had love for everyone and yet was always dignified. She taught me so much, and still comes to me as my Guide in my Druid journey meditations. All my dogs since have been like my children, but Keech was/is a soul mate.

The very first ever novel I wrote was in the evenings and weekends when I was doing my teaching degree. It was a swashbuckling sword and sorcery with a very feisty female lead character, and it was funny and quite rude too! It was a great relief after my days of trying to be something I was not. I banged it out on the little orange typewriter my grandmother gave me many years before when I said I'd decided to be a writer. I'd get quite involved. I remember one night I was madly typing some exciting fight scene and a piece of wood fell out of the fire behind me and I nearly hit the roof, I jumped so hard!

When I was in my twenties and early thirties I never cut my hair, so that it grew till it was to the backs of my knees. I nearly always wore it in two long braids like a viking, but when I took it out it was like a river of gold and bronze. I felt like my hair was my strength like Sampson did. Maybe it was. It was only after I cut it that I got sick! It's growing again now and I keep saying I will only grow it to my shoulderblades, then trim it, but I haven't for a long time and it is on the way down my back again...