Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Little Bit O’ Fan & A Wee Smidgen O’ Fare

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(c) 2013 NKW-Illustration. All Rights Reserved.

I feel torn into two people at the moment: Personal Me and Professional Me. They could as easily be called Whiney Me and Writer Me.

Whiney Me still has what’s left of her heart weighed down with an anchor. She wakes and huddles in the covers, limbs heavy, takes a peek into the cavity in her chest and continues to feel sad that she doesn’t miraculously feel better post break-up. She holds out hope, though, that one day she’ll wake up grinning again.

Writer Me has much to do, gearing up to win National Novel Writing Month at the end of the week and trying furiously make sense of her story, all while watching last year’s effort spread its wings and working to see opportunities blossom and scratches ratchet up in the ‘win’ column.

Of course, despite a little duality, Writer Me and Whiney Me being in essence the same person – they each have a little say in each other’s lives. Writer Me can’t help but at times find her pen a little woebegone, her protagonist a little weak, her work-in-progress a little wistful. But, meanwhile, Whiney Me can’t help but smile at some of the surprises and delights cropping up for Writer Me, and it’s those I’d rather focus on today.

So, in the spirit of cheer, here are some raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens in the form of five pieces of Night Butterflies news:

1. I had my first author interview with the lovely Sara Letourneau over at her brilliant blog. 

This was a lot of fun. Sara is one of the people I’m most happy to have met during Project Get Published. Take a peek for a look into my messy mind and some insights into the story. Sara’s also interviewed Mary Weber, author of Storm Siren – so I’m already keeping good company!

2. A short-story prequel to my novel has been published in the ‘Secrets’ issue of New Zealand magazine The Source.

This gives me thrills because it’s awesome to appear in something I always read myself, and it’s my first published magazine piece!


3. My book is breaking into libraries.

As with all books published in the country, two copies of The Night Butterflies sit in the collections of the National Library of New Zealand. But approaching a library I frequent as a reader was a completely different experience and getting onto the shelf was such a brilliant piece of news to receive. I’d been so nervous for my first meeting as a published author when I went in to speak with the buyer for The Queenstown Lakes District Library. She kindly arranged for The Night Butterflies to be reviewed, with the result it was purchased for their collection. As far as milestones go, it’s a *big* one for me, made all the better for so many lovely people being delighted about it as well.

4. My book is having a party!

Upon reading one of Anne R Allen’s (always) valuable posts, on talent perhaps being overrated, I arranged for The Night Butterflies to be listed on Little did I realise that posting about it would lead to the wonderful opportunity to have a virtual book party next week! And you’re all invited 🙂 It will be hosted by the lovely Nicole Grabner at The Whole Plot Thing (Facebook invite here). If you can’t make it (a little on the late side for my UK friends, sorry!), do pop over & visit Nicole’s lovely site anyway! Her book parties are just spreading their wings and I’m so happy to be a part of it all – The Whole Plot Thing is going to be a brilliant place to visit for news on fresh, engaging reads and their authors.

5. The Night Butterflies is starting to get some reviews.

So far I’ve had the book picked up by two wonderful book reviewers at Through The Wardrobe Door and A Bibliophile’s Reverie. I can’t wait for their feedback! And so far reviews are off to a promising beginning on Amazon. Garnering reviews is such a boost and so, so valuable for an independent author. If you can add to the collection, please oh please do!


And there we have it – five things to backflip about 🙂 It’s so easy to focus on the negatives in your own life and the positives in everyone else’s. It’s wonderful being happy for your friends, but, with a little effort, I think you can find value in celebrating your own successes too.

Have two sides of your life ever taken drastically different trajectories? I think it’s important to focus on the one that’s looking up and find cause for a party where possible 🙂 On which note, do RSVP

30 Observations On Turning 30


Last week, it was my birthday. And I wasn’t where I’d planned to be, because I was no longer with whom I’d planned to be with (hence hopping over the water for a while). But the best of it was made for me, with a handmade surprise mad hatter’s birthday breakfast tea party (just amazing – pics below!) and then a trip to a beautiful winery for a delicious, long lunch with much wine. My friend here has taken cheering me to heart and single-handedly saved what otherwise could have been a day of sorrowing. I also received several touching presents and cards that lifted my heart.

I’ve never been down around my birthday. I love to celebrate, and a number’s just a number after all! When I think of some of the things that have happened by the time I’ve turned this one: releasing myself from an occupation of reluctant accounting, starting my own business, travelling the world, publishing my own book, meeting the people I’ve met and seeing the sights that I’ve seen – I can say I’m happy with how I’ve got here.

So, to celebrate having turned thirty, here’s a list of thirty observations I’ve had upon doing so, in the order that they came to me.

1. Who doesn’t love a list?

2. Don’t heed the snake within (& that’s a sneak peek quote from my current NaNoWriMo work in progress, fantasy novel Luminosa).

3. If it is at all possible, find something in any given situation to laugh at.

4. It’s always tea time.

5. ‘Tis better to catch on late than never.

6. Smile at everyone and see what happens.

7. Patience is a virtue, but the really, really hard-to-find kind.

8. No matter how low you feel, someone’s suffering more in Game of Thrones.

9. Persevere.

10. See beauty everywhere you look.

11. I love books. But I can appreciate the Kindle.

12. Friends are treasures; guard them.

13. If something’s not okay, try and try and try to make it better.

14. It is better to love.

15. Never take a good shower for granted.

16. Be bold.

17. You can move all over the place, but it’s where you’re at inside that matters.

18. Say what you think; sometimes you’ll be surprised at the support from unexpected corners.

19. If you can’t help but lose something, remember it fondly.

20. People are kind.

21. Sending & receiving postal love changes the value of a stamp into something priceless.

22. Thirty years is a long time (I never said they’d all be meaningful).

23. Keep having adventures.

24. You can’t control what you can’t control. But you can control your occupation, your location and your outlook on life.

25. Regret as little as possible.

26. If something ain’t sitting right, alter it.

27. It’s possible to write 50,000 words in 30 days, whatever else is going on.

28. You might not know what’s next, but there’s probably something good involved.

29. Anything is possible.

30. Be you.

How do you feel about birthdays? Raise a glass with me and be merry, if you haven’t already. There’s nothing wrong with getting older and wiser. 


Off with their heads!


Mad hat


Drink me


Eat me


Down the rabbit hole


Cheshire Cat


Curiouser and curiouser


Open me


Welcome to Wonderland


Six impossible things before breakfast

Queenstown, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish


Fly away from Queenstown and you leave this view behind you…

Friends and neighbours, sorry for my silence. I’ve been up and down, round and round… And now I’m in South Australia. Adelaide to be precise. It’s transpired that I’m going to be here for the rest of the year. I came via two other states. In Victoria I stopped in Melbourne, where I gained two hours, then I headed to Western Australia and spent a few halcyon days in Perth, where I gained three more (though my good friend’s 30th birthday celebrations may have stolen a few years of my life). I then hopped down to Adelaide via Melbourne, where I lost three hours but then managed to claw back a measly half. In summary, I’m quite confused. I’m not entirely sure what the real time or date is. But I do know where and who I am.

I also know what I am. I am no longer even a part-time reluctant accountant. I am fully freelance. I am a published author and managing director of my own book editing business. I am a wandering writer and renegade rover of this oyster of a world we live in. I didn’t choose to be cut adrift. But we can only make choices when it comes to what we can control. When it comes to ourselves. Our location, our occupation, our outlook on life and love, lost and otherwise. We can choose not to be beaten, not to be broken, whatever happens. We can choose to bounce back.

Of course, when we’re coming back from being knocked down, it helps to have friends, all around the globe, offering their support and inviting you into their homes. When you’ve lost your own, someone else’s home can be a sanctuary. And that’s how I come to be here, in the beautiful eleventh floor pad of an apartment block in the centre of Adelaide, with a balcony looking east out onto the hills and showcasing the sunrise, fitness facilities shared with the Crowne Plaza next door, and incomparable company.

I know what I’m doing here. I’m writing my second novel (here we go again, National Novel Writing Month!). I’m convalescing. I’m seeing old friends and new places. I’m firing up to gain more business. And I’m becoming even more who I want to be – just in time to turn thirty come Sunday (twitch, twitch).

So I said so long to Queenstown, but it won’t go anywhere, and I’ll be back. It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful places in the world, where I’ve had the time of my life with some of the best people I’ve ever met. I went on a wee pilgrimage before I left to take shots of some of its highlights away with me. I’ve included just a few of these below.

Have you ever left somewhere with a heavy heart? Did you ever go back? Carrying a heavy heart is like flying with excess baggage – expensive and frustrating. I’m terrible at packing, but I’m aiming to reorganise things and travel lightly into the future.


Rum Curries


Lake Wakatipu


Basket of Dreams, Queenstown Hill


Lake Hayes


Queenstown Hill Summit


Bob’s Cove


Glenorchy Road




Arrowtown to Macetown Track


12 Mile Delta


Have you read The Night Butterflies? Grab your copy here! Would you recommend it? Support your friendly indie authors – leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads 🙂

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