Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The IWSG Short Story Contest Winners

Wishing everyone a happy New Year! I'm hoping this year will be far better than the last one. Above is a quick snap I took in Brisbane's Botanic Gardens.

And now on to good news: The much awaited results for the IWSG short story contest have come in. Below are the winners in no particular order:
Erika Beebe - The Wheat Witch
L. Nahay – Breath Between Seconds
Tyrean Martinson - Of Words and Swords
Elizabeth Seckman - Mind Body Soul
Olga Godim - Captain Bulat
Ellen Jacobson - The Silvering
Roland Yeomans - Sometimes They Come Back
Yvonne Ventresca – The Art of Remaining Bitter
Sean McLachlan - The Witch Bottle
Sarah Foster - The Last Dragon
Renee Cheung - Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight

And the grand prize winner:

Jen Stanton Chandler - The Mysteries of Death and Life

Congrats to everyone who took part! The stories were all fabulous and it was a difficult task for the judges to pick their favourites.

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?
Can I say all of them? When people treat these rules as absolutes and take great joy in picking apart published works that break the rules, then I must admit I get a little upset. No rule is absolute. Every rule can be broken. If you want to head hop through the story, then head hop! If you want fractured sentences, then fracture them! Shatter them if that's your desire! Have a field day with backstory, tell to your heart's content. But ask yourself, does it work? Are you doing it out of laziness or ignorance or stubbornness, or is it part of your master plan? In other words, does it have the full impact you intended for the story? Yes? Then go for it!

 How about you? What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Joy and Chaos

Christmas is a mere two weeks away. There is much to do, many friends and family to spend time with, and a scary amount of shopping to conquer. Consequently, I'll be taking a blogging break for the rest of the year. I'll pop in occasionally, but not to post.

A big thank you to everyone for supporting me during my chaotic year of personal stuff, renovations, selling up house, buying a new place and moving interstate, all while releasing my debut devotional, Cling to God. Gasp, gasp, gasp.

If you are looking for a present to give someone, please consider, Cling to God, a book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Oz Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads.

What kind of Christmas will you be hoping for this year? 

Edit: I almost forgot to post a pic of my tree again! Well, here it is! What's your tree like?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Interview with a Twist and CassaDawn #IWSG

Today I have Alex J. Cavanaugh here with me. We are doing another interview with a twist. The last one was where I interviewed him on his blog as a way of spreading the news about the release of my book, Cling to God. You can find the interview here. Today it's the other way around, with Alex interviewing me as we share the news about his new exciting story, CassaDawn.

Alex: What is it that draws you to science fiction?
Me: When I first started reading scifi and fantasy, it was all about the escapism. I wanted to visit other worlds and not think about this one. Then, as I matured, the reason evolved. I still wanted to visit other worlds, but I also wanted to think about other possibilities, explore different concepts that can only be explored in these genres, and I love reading about people in extraordinary settings and circumstances.

Alex: What are some of your favorite science fiction movies/shows/books?
Me: My favourite scifi movies: the original Star Wars trilogy, Aliens, Serenity, The Martian. My favourite scifi shows: Firefly, Dr Who, the original Twilight Zone, Stranger Things, Westworld. My favourite scifi books: Eon by Greg Bear, The Martian by Andy Weir, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Chimera by N. J. Tanger, and, of course, I can't forget to mention the Cassa series by Alex J Cavanaugh.

Alex: How has your Christian faith shaped the way you write speculative fiction?
Me:  While I'm nowhere close to perfect, I'd like to think my Christian faith shapes every part of my life. That includes my writing. I felt compelled to write a Christian devotional to offer encouragement to others, and Cling to God was published in October. My fiction, however, is pure scifi, yet it still offers Christian values. Because of my faith, there are some subjects I will never write about, even if that means it may not be as popular or trendy in today's world.

By Alex J. Cavanaugh
eBook ISBN 9781939844354
Science Fiction-Space Opera/Adventure/Military

The prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa series!

A pilot in training...

Fighting the odds, Byron is determined to complete Cosbolt training. Poised at the top of his class, only one situation holds him back–his inability to work with anyone in the cockpit. Byron’s excellent piloting skills won’t be enough without a good navigator…

Release date: December 6, 2016

iTunes, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Amazon UK, Goodreads

IWSG question of the month: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself in five years, and what’s your plan to get there?

I am currently six years into my ten year plan. A lot has changed over that six years. Nothing that I could predict, so the plan needs to be reassessed and modified. At the moment of writing this, I can honestly, and a little worriedly, say that I have no idea where I'll be in five years. Everything feels uncertain right now. How about you?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Brisbane Meet and Greet

Last week I finally got to meet fellow Aussie blogger, Denise Covey. We had lunch together at a delightful place in South Bank, called French Martini. The service was exceptional, the food was yum and the dessert, a creme brulee, was a silky taste of heaven.
It was a rather toasty day, and particularly humid, which did my hair no favours (Yes, I need an updated author pic). Denise took me on a tour of the state library, which was wonderfully air conditioned. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time there in the near future. Then we headed to the James Squire Brewery, called the Charming Squire, to cool off with a chilled glass of cider. It's a great pub!! My hubby wants me to take him there someday soon. Speaking of whom...

With all the food blogging I've been doing lately, my hubby didn't want to be left out, so below is a pic of the al fresco dining he set up on our balcony, complete with homemade pizza and wine. While we ate, we watched the boats go up and down the river as dusk closed in and evening cooled the air. I'd give this eatery five stars!
Thanks, Denise, for an awesome day out. We will definitely do it again.

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? How about my devotional?

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brisbane Review: Viet de Lite and Dumpling Republic

An update on the move and all those boxes. It's been three weeks since I moved to Brisbane from Sydney. The majority of the boxes have been unpacked. Not everything has been put away, however. And where to store all those empty boxes until we can send them back to the moving company? In the guest bathroom, of course!
Being a relative newbie to Brisbane, my diet has taken a hit because of all the delectable places to sample. Last week I had dinner at Viet de Lites, at South Bank. It offers Vietnamese style cooking in a semi al fresco setting. The mixed entree wasn't awesome due to overcooked proteins, but the dau phu xao (tofu stir fry with cashews) was brilliant. Generous and tasty with the vegies perfectly cooked. Would I eat there again? Probably not since there are so many choices in Brisbane.
Then on the weekend we took a ferry across the river and walked into the city for the first time. After much shopping, we found a wonderful restaurant hidden away in the Wintergarden mall: Dumpling Republic. Yum. Service was excellent, the food was amazing, and we walked out totally satisfied. Would I eat there again? Absolutely!
And in case you might've forgotten... Cling to God, a great Christmas gift to give:

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.