Sunday, 31 August 2008

The possum whisperer…

The best iron fist in a velvet glove comment I heard today in relation to another person that they considered was a pain in the arse?

“She is stalked because of her rare beauty and a wit unseen before in human kind.” – anonymous


I was under the house talking to Wayne the possum when the electricity linesmen turned up. I mentioned on a previous blog these gentlemen look mighty fine in their linesman outfits. Anyway, there were three of them and I was covered in paint splatters talking to a marsupial that lives on the top of an old wardrobe. Pretty much same old, same old for me. And I wasn’t actually whispering to Wayne, it was more I was snapping at him for hissing at me because I had the old radio on loud as I worked. I went to get a paintbrush that is stored on a shelf near where Wayne has taken up residence. I get that he is a nocturnal creature and that light and noise pisses him off but it’s my turf and he just has to deal with it and not get all emotional at me. I don’t have time to deal with it. So I was telling him that, paintbrush in hand, when these men arrived. No, the gods had not sent three strapping blokes in uniforms to cater to my every whim, otherwise they would have been painting the stairs and not me. They were upgrading lines in the neighbourhood and needed access to my switchboard down stairs.

I pointed Wayne out to them. Not sure if they were more wary of me before or after this. It’s one thing to talk to yourself but another to talk to a possum. None wanted to try and get Wayne down off the wardrobe and take him for a drive though I did offer this adventure to them. They however just nodded and smiled and backed away from me. Oh well, I am going to put up with Wayne for the moment as I cannot keep spending money to have these little bastards relocated – and on the whole he is quiet. Though, I do think if you want to pick up a hunk of a visiting linesman, it’s maybe wise not to be talking to a possum. Just a helpful tip. Possums are bad for romance. Better write that down.

Not that I am looking for romance. Who has time for that? Yes, I believe it’s out there but unless I can fit it in between 2am and 3am it’s not going to happen. I have been told that I will burn myself out like Grandma Elsie. Now my grandmother was one of the best people I ever knew. She was dramatic and funny and it’s a family joke that she ‘burnt herself out young’
because she was so laid back and silent movie star like – but I think it’s true. Elsie married the wrong man and had children too late in life. Now my grandfather was not a mean man. He was a pragmatic Scot who married a dreamer. Elsie waited for her white knight to come and take her away to some fairytale land that never existed. They were mismatched – and yes, while I think opposites do attract it doesn’t mean they should be together. So I believe Grandma Elsie was burnt out from being with the wrong person but there is a history of that in my family and it’s something I have never been keen to follow. Yes, romance exists. I know it does. It just don’t marry it.

So what does any of this have to do with possum whispering?
Absolutely stuff all.

Observation for today…

I was reading someone’s blog – can’t remember which one – anyway the blogger was saying that she was tiring of reading erotic romance books because of the sex in them and how it took over the plot at times. Hmmm…erotic romance. Erotic = sex. Erotic romance means sex with romance – ipso facto – there’s going to be sex…probably a lot of it. So, here’s a thought…maybe make a choice and don’t read it if the sex and ‘lack of a plot’ upsets you...

Have a pleasant Sunday…if you can’t be good, be fast.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Surface deep…

Okay, so the theory is you write what you know – so that means you write what you are - what you think, what you believe. I had this dream last night and I woke up thinking – that would be good in a book. Then I stopped and thought – no, that’s too close to my own life. Too personal. Too deep. I try to avoid doing either in my real life. I am a surface skimmer. Should I or could I put something so personal in a book? Do I ever put that sort of stuff in a book? Hmmm…not sure because I am so good at the avoidance of personal stuff that I no longer know. Then I couldn’t sleep thinking about that and writing and are we really what we write? Or do we hold stuff back to protect ourselves? The conclusion I came to? Yes…and no…and I should have taken a bomb, a sleeping pill.

Every insecurity and fear that my characters have I have or had. I know what it is like to be perceived fat or ugly or weird. I remember how that cuts deeply into a person. I say ‘know’ because I don’t allow it to cut me any more. I have fortress walls up that stop that happening. It’s the old ‘bullets bounce off me’ thing. But I know and have lived those feelings. I know you have as well – maybe different in texture – but we have all been there, done that and toughened from it.

So, I am my characters to a point. They have my beliefs. They are smart arses who manage to get in and out of trouble. They make a mess of their love life and manage to usually sort it out…sort of. Writing is considered a passion but should you pour every ounce of your passionate self into a book? Is it better to hold stuff so back? Does anyone really ever write what they know? If 90% of you is in a book, why not the other 10% ? Is it too scary? Too sad or are you just protecting your arse? Don’t you wonder about the famous writers and their books? How much of that is their life?

I think it’s the cold meds making me so deep-ish…little blue pills will do that to you. My wise Editor gives this advice -

Write what you are burning to write, what you are passionate about. That will produce your best writing -- Ed.

I think write what you have to for whatever reason you must and never run out of chocolate. If you do run out of it then maybe it's time to stop.

That’s it from me…I am absolutely
knackered, rooted, stuffed – all Aussie for bloody tired…mainly of painting. I have decided I need a man so I can point to stuff and tell him to do, fix, paint…cook dinner…now go home until required.

Have a good Saturday
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Friday, 29 August 2008


“No”…can you say that word? More importantly can you mean it and stand by it? For some it's a hard a thing to do. No is so final, so negative, so not going to happen. I think there is a great fear or worry behind the word no – that the perception is people will not like you or consider you hard. No is not a pleasing word. No invites confrontation. I believe this simple word puts great pressure on people because to be pleasant and polite and say “yes” is a lot easier than the possible ramifications of no. People always want to know why you are saying no and who are you to tell me no?

I have never been one to worry about saying no. There are just times when it has to be said. I've been doing that a lot over the past couple of days at work. It never makes you popular but people need to know the facts and that you are not one who caves under pressure, nor are you a soft touch. At work my personal belief is I am not paid enough to say yes when I know it will cause a drama. Besides, despite my half arsed attitude, I do understand business principles – the wheeling and the dealing - I know when someone is talking shite and wanting me to agree to it for it to make it easier for them to get away with something. Not on my watch mate. Make sense and I will most likely agree with you – talk rubbish and expect a no. But then, that's not much different to normal life is it?

Saying no to family and friends can be hard. You want to help or give to them but sometimes you just can't. Sometimes you have to step away or say no, I can't help. I'm lucky, the people that I care about understand, as I do them, that yes is not always possible and if I give a no then it’s not personal. Realistically, how can it be otherwise? You have to accept you are not going to please everyone all the time. It's not possible. Real people understand this. I believe those who don’t are too caught up in what they want to consider how their selfish needs will affect who they are asking.

I don’t see no as negative. I see it as powerful word. How can something negative be powerful? I look at it this way - if you are prepared to stand tough and stick to your guns and risk the threat of someone being unhappy with you then you are a strong person who knows their own mind and will not settle for anything less than what you believe to be true. That's power.

So – no is easy for me. That’s not to say I use it all the time but I believe at this stage I have the experience to make decisions and give tough answers people don’t want to hear. If I lose friends by that then I have to wonder if they where really friends at all.

Can you say no?

A Micah Blue moment – released September 3rd at Ellora’s Cave. For you chance to be in the random draw to win a copy along with other stuff click here.

“Holy crap.”
“I don’t think there’s anything holy about this, sugar,” Ned responded evenly.
“The sapphire proclaims her mine,” Mellifont announced in a voice that brooked no argument.
“What sapphire?” Micah looked down at glowing stone in her navel. “This tacky lump of glass is a sapphire?” She pulled it out and looked at it carefully.
“Looks that way.” Ned took the glowing stone from her hand. It dulled instantly. “It also looks like you have got yourself a dickheaded demon after you, sugar.”
“No way!”
Great, everyone else gets guardian angels but I get a fucking demon. Typical.
“Leave us now or die mortal.” Mellifont aimed the fireball at Ned.
“Mortal?” Micah looked from one man to the other.
“I don’t think so, Sonny Jim.” Ned stood his ground.
“This will not bode well for you. Your death will be painful.”
“All this over sex?” Micah was amazed. She hadn’t had sex in months and now she had two men, one who appeared to be a demon, wanting her body. She was both smugly pleased and horrified.
“No, it’s not a jealousy thing, sugar.” Ned held the jewel out to her. “It’s about this.”
“A lump of glass?” Micah was a little annoyed Ned had deflated her ego as he had.
“It’s a sapphire, my dear. Only the chosen can make it glow.” Mellifont looked at her with possession in his eyes.

Can you out run demon?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Get notted…

So I am in charge for the next couple of days. Excellent. Interrupted writing time. Oh yes, and I’ll probably do that in charge stuff as well…at some point…maybe at the end of chapter 7. Anyway I was telling an ex-work colleague this via email. No, not best friend Ethel because she is very, very sick and off work - translation = painting her house. So the ex-work colleague – let’s call her Svetlana - and I were reminiscing about a place I used to work at. She still works there. It is a government department. I am still not sure how I lasted a year in that place as me and it were a really bad fit. I am not good on rules. Yes – probably not the best person to leave in charge but there it is. I am very bad when it comes to obeying other people's rules. At this old job, I would, without fail, get 'notted' on a daily basis. It was a pain in the arse. What is notted? Is it legal? Does it hurt? Will it scar? All good questions.

To get a 'not' means you haven't followed a rule - as in 'you are not good enough.' Yes, I had a few hundred nots on my record. The rules were all to do with the placement of notes on a file. They had to be set out in a certain way and if by some chance or really slack arse behaviour, like me, you set them out willy-nilly in your own interpretation of note taking then you got notted. Nothing was allowed to be in abbreviations and everything had to follow a certain pattern or you were counseled as to why you had a problem with following procedure. Yes, I got counseled a lot. Is there a problem Amarinda? No. Do you find it hard to read the instructions? There are instructions? Do you realize by putting the notes in against standard is wrong? Yes, it will cause a tear in the fabric of society as we know it and that will never be able to be repaired. This is serious Amarinda. I know, it’s nearly 4pm and I don’t want to be late going home so let’s wrap this counseling up shall we? Yes, I am a total pain in the arse. I would hate me as an employee. Funny this is, it was grudgingly acknowledged that I did the most work. I think that drove them extra special crazy that I just ignored the stupid rules.
Example of my terrible note behaviour -

Lmtcmb re pif extn npa will ref to oca - perfectly obvious isn’t it?

s/w mrs - advsd deny if no $$ by cob & recon 2 ap -
well duh

Mr sd shld py by c/c @ p-shop - advsd no $$ no srv
- easy

These are bad naughty notes. They are forbidden on government department land. If you have ever worked in an Aussie call centre though these are second nature to you. There are others but they are too obscure – and some we just made up for fun to confuse people. So, looking at those non standard government notes you can probably tell I got notted a lot. It really didn’t worry me much as I knew and they knew they were not about to sack a fast worker. They just lectured me harder on writing properly. My editor is now nodding her head in understanding. Funny thing was I used to get asked to train a lot of people and yeah, I did my best, depending on mood, to teach the right thing as I believe it was. I just enjoyed the wrong way for myself. There's something fun about being a pain in the arse.

Does notting scar? Oh yeah. Getting notted used to upset a lot of people because they would walk in and first thing they would see would be all their mistakes. Not a pleasant way to start the day with. Morale in the mornings was lower than a snake’s belly. Yet the hierarchy could not see that as ‘rules had to be obeyed’. So what if a stray comma or a full stop wasn’t in the right place? Is it worth making a record on someone's file about? Is it worth slapping someone over the hand for? Hell no. So I have to ask why such a bloody stupid system existed? They’re in all workplaces. These workplaces then wonder why they bleed staff. Constantly telling people they are ‘not’ good enough is just wrong. Tight, stringent rules are wrong. People are not machines and cannot always be perfect. The stress levels in that job were insane. Yes, some rules should be obeyed – i.e - road rules for they are for the good of all but when some tinpot god writes a work manual and wants everyone to obey it slavishly or else then that tinpot god needs to have a dose of reality. Problem is they never seem to. They are the ones that are pushed higher up the corporate ladder. Work? Stupid. Survive? Any way you can. After all work is not real life.

What is the most dumb arsed rule you ever had to follow? Or are you a thwarter of rules? I cannot be the only one…come on – shock us.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Could I? Should I?

Yeah, the old ‘what if’ of life. What if I had of done X instead of Y? Turned left instead of right? Said yes instead of no? Of course they are questions that can never be answered because you chose a direction and you took it and looking back on what may have happened is pointless. What am I on about? Good question. It’s about the fantasy of a meeting a man that is so hot, so sexy that you know in a heart beat that you were going to throw caution to the wind and have sex with him. A charming of stranger. Someone you don’t know. A wicked man that your mother warned you about but maybe secretly hoped you would meet. Would you? Could you? And more to the point should you? Is it a moral dilemma or just being bloody lucky? Why do I bring this up? Have I met a man like this? Uh, no…too busy for that. Would I? ‘Been thinking about that after a non writer friend gave me some honest feedback on my latest WIP. Her words? "What? Are you out of your mind? Would you seriously do that? Have sex with a hot stranger? " Well, being the pure at heart person that I am I said no, you know me – as if I would do anything wrong. Of course I wouldn’t. But why is this such a popular fantasy with women? Why does it sell books or make popular films? Are we all a bunch of perverts or we closet risk takers? Or, more to the point and what I believe, is it just because it is so outside out normal scope of life that the fantasy, and not the actual reality, of it appeals to us?

Look at the books where the pirate, highlander, sheik, werewolf, blue person, vampire, CEO, Lord, thief or whatever he is looks across the crowded room and the single, smart woman thinks ‘holy crap, the hot guy is looking at me.’ She then has this mad night of passion and the hero continues to pursue her with every romantic trick in the book. Now, come on, don’t tell me that’s not a fantasy that a lot of women would not like to dream about or read. And they do – hence why romance books make up half or more of the book market. We want to be able to live vicariously, if only for a moment, through a fantasy. And yeah, most of us know it may never happen or we would never do it but hell, for a couple of hours it’s fun to read about isn’t it? The people that tut-tut and say but the characters should have a relationship before they have sex are not wrong but you’re not reading an erotic romance for the hero and heroine to hold hands for half of the book are you? Erotic romance is hot and past paced. It’s like the thrill of sex. It’s fantasy and there’s nothing wrong with that. I also write mainstream romance where no one has sex until the end. It’s a balancing act between the two. It’s all about what you want the individual wants in a fantasy isn’t it?

What about the idea behind the movie Indecent Proposal where Robert Redford’s character offers Demi Moore’s a million dollars to spent the night with him? That’s a hell of a lot of money. Would you? If you were married? If you were single? If you normally considered yourself smart but $$ signs were dancing in your skull and you had bills up to your eyeballs? Could you turn that down? What point does it cross the line for you? And why is it a movie that so many people watched and wondered what they would do? It’s an interesting concept – and no, I’m not advocating everyone goes out and does it, but it’s something to think about isn’t it? And thinking, last time I checked, wasn’t wrong.

I know everyone has a moral code as to what is and isn’t acceptable to them. As discussed before on this blog and others, many writers who use a pen name write scorching OMG sex yet lead this normal, respectable life where no one knows about what they do. While I respect and understand why they keep it silent, I find that interesting. Most writers I know write because the passion burns in them so brightly that not to write would be beyond them. So they write what appeals to them or what sells lots of books. How hard would that be to go about your normally quiet existence when you have this ‘other’ secret life where you write erotica? Is that fantasy in itself? I believe so. People who write live part of their life thinking about fantasy and in some ways you have to be touched by it. But what about writing burning, steamy sex yet going to work everyday and being your other ‘normal’ self? Moral dilemma? Dreamer? Risk taker? I tend to think these people would make excellent spies as they have to hide a lot.

And yeah, I believe women are smart and strong and capable of making rational, wise decisions. They do it everyday, whoever they are – married, partnered, single, kids or no kids. And no, I know the majority of women aren’t about to expect a blue, highland, vampire sheik to appear in their life and give them a wild night of unforgettable, knee wobbling sex but hey, there’s nothing wrong with the fantasy now is there?

Good mate and author Sandra Cox tagged me. Because she is a good mate I will do the 6 quirky facts tag thingy although I don't get the whole tagging thing. What is the point of it? Please go to Sandra’s blog and ask her.

1. I can do the splits
2. I cannot say 'th' words properly unless I stop and fink or think about it first
3. I could have been a rocket scientist if I was any good at science
4. I can waltz very well
5. I would rather starve than eat baked beans - they are pukeable.
6. I know almost every piece of dialogue from Gone with The Wind

I'm not tagging anyone as this madness must stop. Sorry mate…but I have to end it.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Just an observation…

Too tired to rant…this is just an observation about jealousy…I don’t understand it. A colleague of mine recently sent me a coldly polite email congratulating me on something I had done. I say coldly polite because it wasn't congratulatory. It smacked of someone who was pissed off…jealous. While it's nice to have acknowledgement, it's not necessary to me. My world still turns without the need for praise. So I have to wonder why this person felt the need to email me with a tight 'aren’t you lucky' type email. Lucky? Yep – the harder I work the luckier I get. But then, don’t we all?

I don’t understand how you can be jealous of someone you are never going to be - and what I mean by that is my experiences are not going to be yours or anyone else’s. Whatever you or I do will be because we made our own choices to do it or acted in a way for something to happen. The consequences are our own – good, bad or indifferent. Sure what I do may be similar to what another does but there is a bloody good chance neither of us a going to act in the same way or get

the same things as the other. We can wish for stuff to happen but to be jealous or to suggest someone is luckier to me is insane. I always find it odd when someone indicates they should have something they perceive I or another have for themselves.
The only time I sort of understand jealousy is in books and film - when it’s used to give the reader/viewer an insight into the characters emotions - he/she is falling in love but is insecure or scared. Or maybe used to portray the pursuit of power or greed. Passion, anger and possessiveness I understand. Jealousy to me is a dumb arsed bi-product of these and honestly when it all comes down to it you can only be yourself and being jealous of another is counter-productive. There ain’t nothing going on in my world to be jealous of.

See, told you it was not a rant…I just don’t care enough to rant over something so stupid. However, in lieu of that check out the excellent excerpts below that illustrate exactly what I mean when jealousy can be used in a book to portray emotion to a reader. And yes, it’s another click on the cover and buy moment.
Dragon in the System by Cindy Spencer Pape - Available now at Cerridwen Press
**Amarinda note – I have read this one – it’s an excellent book

"So where does the babe come in?"

Eric flashed him a snotty look. "Her name is Lori and I'm getting to that."
He finished off the dregs of the so-called coffee and tossed his mug back onto its usual corner of his desk. Then he recounted the events of Friday and Saturday nights, leaving out very little except for his constant frustration since that first kiss. That, he assumed, David would be able to infer on his own. "So I called her Sunday and she blew me off. Then yesterday at lunch time, I saw her sitting with this Antonio Banderas look-alike," he finished glumly. "When Celia asked me out, I knew I should go, but somehow, I couldn't. I just don't want to be with Celia. I want to be with Lori."

Garvaglia laughed. "Dude, you have got it bad!"

"Shut up, jackass!"

The insult only made David laugh harder. "Oh, man and I thought this was going to be a boring semester. Boy was I wrong! This is going to be fun to watch."

Eric snorted and threw a wad of paper across the tiny space at his friend's head. "What's there to watch? She blew me off. She had lunch with some cover model. It's over."

"Man, haven't you learned yet that women are never that straightforward?"
Babies in the Bargain by Mona Risk – coming soon to The Wild Rose Press

Holly entered the elevator. Marc followed and pushed the button for the first floor. She banged the fourth floor button with her knuckles. “If you have to fight to protect your multitude of female friends, you’ll spend your life doing nothing else.”
In the confined space, Marc’s clean, masculine scent enveloped her like a warm cloak, robbing her mental faculties of their usual alertness. She took a small breath and pressed her back against the wall of the elevator, wishing to disappear through it. Right now, she badly needed the privacy of her own room to sort out her feelings.
Dios mio, what are you talking about?” His forehead creased, his face a mix of surprise and hurt. “What multitude of female friends?”
Even when the shadows in his eyes reminded her of his grief, the man oozed sex-appeal.
As they stepped out of the elevator, she crossed her arms to prevent him from noticing her shaking fingers. “You don’t owe me any explanations. We’re colleagues. Period.”
“Colleagues, hmm.” Huffing, he flapped his arms in frustration.
Turning her back on him, she strode toward her on-call room.
He accelerated his pace and caught up to her. “Understood. Colleagues. But colleagues can be friends, can be concerned about each other. Right?”
“Forget it.” She glanced at him and shrugged, not ready to get entangled in a definition of specific words. “Earlier today, I tried to soothe your pain. Others are entitled to do the same for you. So don’t feel obligated to reciprocate by trying to protect me.”
“Wait a minute.” Marc paused as they reached her room. “Others? You mean Jenna, right? She tried to force herself through my door. Didn’t you see me preventing her from entering my office?”
Holly bit her lip and nodded. Why was she so upset?
Good grief, she was jealous of Jenna and worried stiff about her own new bout of attraction to Marc.

Have a good, peaceful Tuesday. And Jealousy? Kick it to the curb. Isn't life complicated enough?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Monday, 25 August 2008

The chameleons among us…

Male me - Review

MALE ME is a pure, sexual delight of a romance. This story is so hot that I swore I saw flames licking at the edges of my monitor! Ménage, exhibitionism, sexy videos, public venues—you name it, this story has it. It even flirts with a bit of BDSM. What I really loved though was the fun and humor in this tale. The characters are all a bit quirky, the situations they get into are sexy as well as humorous and Delaware's best friend is a total hoot. The story is well written, the plot simple but addictive and Ms. Jones evens adds a bit of danger to spice things up. I was really impressed with how much sex, action and even romance was packed into this tale and I was disappointed when the journey came to an end. MALE ME was pure enjoyment from the first to the last page and I found it an excellent entertainment for a cool evening.

All chameleon species are able to change their skin color. Changing color is an expression of the physical and psychological condition of the lizard, not, as is commonly believed, to match their surroundings. The color also plays a part in communication

I was watching this person at work today. I’m a people watcher. I like to observe what people do and say. People are fascinating and often what I see goes into my books. Anyway, this man walked into the room. There is nothing special about him in looks. He is average. Yet he can work a room by simply being all things to all people.
He changes colour and manner as he faces different people and situations. People feed off that from him. He is the guy that knows everyone’s name, can back slap and guffaw with the blokes and look all sensitive and caring with the women. He can be a leader one minute and someone’s friend the next before changing to stern, sweet, thoughtful then hard in the blink of an eye, depending who he was with. He is so good at being a chameleon that I’m not sure if he knows how often he changes colour. That’s quite a talent. I admire it but I am wary of him. Why? Because I don’t think you ever know where you stand with a human chameleon. They are puzzling creatures. What do they really believe in? Or is it just show to influence their environment? Is the outer façade true? And yeah you could ask that of any person but with these chameleons the façade changes so many times that I find it hard to work out if they’re real. Politicians are the A-typical chameleons.
This guy at work and I don’t get on because although I think he is very skillful at what he does, I’m not falling for the change of colours routine. He knows that so we maintain this polite business manner with each other. I’m not his ideal audience and he’s not my kind of person. I am too direct in my manner to indulge in colour games. But today he got me thinking as he worked the room and everyone fell at his feet or rushed off to do his bidding. Maybe I should be more chameleon like. I’m too pushy. I know that. It’s a bad habit. If I want something I go right ahead and ask for it. Amazingly people often give it to me because I think they are too surprised by my direct approach not to. That’s how I grew up. The family motto is Ask and ye shall receive. Mum had an old 1920’s plaque with those words on it on the wall in the dining room. She instilled in us the belief that we could do anything and to be fearless. Sure people will tell you no and rack off but sometimes you will get a yes if you try. However, the subtle chameleon approach appears to work. Maybe I’ll try and cultivate that. Will it work for me? Doubtful. Chameleons may change colour but a bitch of a leopard can’t change her spots. Yes, how deep for a Monday after work.

So are chameleons around you? Do you like them? Loathe them? Or are you one of them? How effective are they do you reckon?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Sunday, 24 August 2008

What the???

Rather than focusing on how to divide personal assets, some are expanding their agreements to preserve the aspects of single life they don't want to lose.,23739,24190702-23272,00.html

I read something in the local Sunday newspaper that pissed me off. It was all to do with pre-nup agreements. Now, I don’t see this as a bad thing if you have worked your guts out all your life and have amassed money and property for it. You worked hard, it's yours because you earned it. Then you fall in love and decide to get married. I would think it crazy if you did not take the blinders off for a moment and consider protecting what you worked for because no one knows – despite all the initial prettiness of a wedding – how the marriage is going to pan out once the confetti is all swept up. So yeah, I think if you want to protect yourself and you marry someone who says they understand you then they should respect the need for a pre-nup. I would. If I was going to leap into marriage you can bet I would have that all sorted out. No it’s not romantic but both parties are going into a marriage with no sugar frosted financial illusions. In some cases, you have to protect yourself.

Now, about the part that pissed me off...the heading ‘Til heft do us part.’ Heft – hefty – weight. That’s right. The ridiculous idea of signing a pre-nup saying you will never put on weight. What? WHAT??? So picture the scene – the happy couple marries. They are beautiful, in love and slim. Their whole lives are ahead of them - however clause 2a.3iii states that If either party gains weight either the marriage will be dissolved or the other will have to pay a financial penalty.

Adding a few extra pounds can cost more than the price of a new wardrobe. One wife's prenuptial agreement limited her weight to 120 lbs. Penalty for being over the fighting weight: she gives up $100,000 of her separate property.
Another prenuptial agreement included a $500 fine for each excess pound the wife gained. All's fair in lifestyle clauses - one wife added a maximum weight stipulation of 180 lbs. for her husband.

So how is stipulating and enforcing your partner never puts on weight protecting yourself? Are you so shallow that you cannot be seen with a man/woman who is no longer the size they were when you married? How does that protect anything but your ego – and if your ego is that bloody shallow then you have to wonder about yourself and not whether someone’s stomach or arse is bigger than they used to be.

The thing is no one is always going to remain the same as they were. People age, they change and a vast majority put on weight. I have always had this vague idea that people marry because they love each other and want to be together through life – you know sharing the good and the bad, the fat and the thin. I could be wrong. Isn’t that what love and commitment is? Sure, we romance authors write about is all the time. But haven’t you noticed the great trend away from the perfect, flawless heroine in romance books? I like this because real women look like real women and the real women I know are flawed yet interesting because those flaws make them so. Real women also have real men who are grown up and evolved enough to look beyond a facade. Only little boys want their toys to remain the same way forever.

"People are more savvy these days - perhaps they have less expectation that their relationship is going to last forever," she said.,23739,24190702-23272,00.html

You know what? Don’t get married if you don’t think you will not last in the marriage past the white frou-frou virginal extravaganza of the wedding. Give yourselves, your family and friends a break – we don’t need to spend the money on an event that is going to turn into something that will not last the distance. Why not instead have a quick, cheap wedding – donate the money you would have spent to charity – get a tax deduction and then when it all falls apart you at least have something to show for it. No, I’m not cynical about love. Some people do it very well whilst others just treat it like some new fad that everyone is doing and that want to do it as well to be considered ‘cool.’ Marriage, to my understanding, is not a fad. Being single I understand that and made a conscious choice not to jump into anything that does not have the chance of lasting. No, you don’t know if something will last but there are obvious signs to pay attention to and a pre-nup that stipulates you cannot gain weight is one of them.
The right to impose a monetary fine for weight gain One couple stipulated that unless each party lost a specified amount of weight, they couldn't have sex — ever.

So, here’s what I think, if you only like people who look a certain way and never change then invest in a Barbie doll because everyone expands and contracts and if you intend to put a price on that then maybe you’re better off alone looking at your own reflection in the mirror because then if you put on weight then you only have penalize yourself.

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle -- Amy Bloom

Sunday news…steps are finished and I have primed and undercoated them…means nothing to you but to me it’s another job off the list…that is if I did lists. 'Had a Wayne the possum sighting. He was asleep on top of a cupboard under the house.
Spoke to Texas gal and hot romance writer Regina Carlysle on the phone. What a hoot! I always knew Aussies and Texans were kindred souls.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Quel surprise...

Swift of Heart – Book one – Men of Heart

When Stephanie Hart opens her front door to find long-lost love Mackinley Swift on her doorstep, thoughts of anger, love and an overwhelming urge to slap him and then eat a chocolate bar rush through her mind. Here is the man who taught her to love, to want and to need—then he walked out on her without a word. Now Mac's back telling her he's been away fighting a war in another dimension. Yeah, right, whatever. Stephanie is simply not that stupid.

Mac knows he has the fight of his life on his hands to convince the woman he loves that he had no choice. He did not want to go. Duty to his country called him home but love has brought him back. How hard could it be to convince her that they are meant to be together?

An old enemy is watching the lovers' reunion. He hates Mackinley Swift for killing his brother. He has every intention of making him suffer. The woman Swift loves is the means to do it. Hurt the woman, hurt the man.

I got a nice surprise this morning – well I would have got it a week ago if I had not been a slack arse and checked the other email address I have but I didn’t – anyway I’m in print…well a book is. Amazing Grace. It made me laugh. Yes, that’s right laugh. Why? Because it seems so bizarre to have a book out in print now that I have gotten used to the whole e-book thing. E-books are not big in Australia. But they will be. Anyway…what’s it called? Men of Heart. Why? Long frigging story – I’ll give you the condensed version that does not have me banging my head on the desk trying to think up a title until I had a headache and wondering how did I ever come up with other titles without all the angst. Maybe because those books were planned. This one wasn’t. 'Sort of like the immaculate conception of books if you like.

Men of Heart is a duet book comprising of Swift of Heart and Last Man Standing. I got word that it and another two Ellora’s Cave books – Shades of Gray and Marlow’s Curse (Vampire) would go into print and can I think up a name to call the books? Oh hard…so after much agonizing – which included badgering other people for titles – as a last minute thing I came up with Men of Heart based on the fact that the two stories within were about Stephanie Hart and Amy Hart and well - men. Yes, rocket scientist logic in use there. I had not seen the cover until today so I am pleased as always with what the cover gods at Cerridwen Press created. The title for the vampire one? Yeah, I have given one that has been accepted but until it goes into print, I’ll be schtumm (quiet) on that one.
Reading this blog for the first time and totally confused? I do that to a lot of people. I write under two names – Janet Davies and Amarinda Jones. Janet is mainstream romance and Amarinda is erotica. So two names, two genres – one confusing person and yet I like me…who ever I am. And yes, you can click on the covers to buy.

Last Man Standing – Book 2 Men of Heart

Six months ago, when battle-scarred warrior Alex Navarro jumped into Amy Hart's car, he said he was doing it to save her life. He said a madman from another dimension was after her. But how exactly is trying to seduce her saving her life? Shouldn't Alex be after the bad guy? And why on earth did she give her heart to a man who only wants her for the moment?

Six months later Amy Hart is pregnant, and the father-to-be publicly denies paternity. That's just fine with Amy. She hates Alex Navarro with a passion anyway. And there is no way she is going to change her mind. As for Alex, his deliberate plan for Amy to hate him is backfiring. And that's not his only problem. The threat of an old prophecy hangs over his head. He loves Amy but he will not endanger her. But what choice does he have? Can Alex win back the love of his life and beat the curse that has haunted him for years? Or will greed and jealously win?

Wow what a lot of question marks huh?

The step man cometh back tomorrow. The plan had been to have the front steps finished on Friday but like all good plans that fell to crap so he is here tomorrow morning… at 8am…on a Sunday…when I am traditionally still in my pj’s looking feral. Yes, I will change into something more sedate so as not to tempt the man in wild, lustful temptation with my glamorous pink flannelette bedecked self….it’s the least I can do.

May your Saturday be pleasant and peaceful. For all the latest in romance book news go check out the authors listed in the link below.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Friday, 22 August 2008


From Gone with the Wind…
Scarlett: Cathleen, Who's that?
Cathleen Calvert: Who?
Scarlett: That man looking at us and smiling? The nasty dark one?
Cathleen Calvert: My dear don't you know? That’s Rhett Butler! He's from Charleston, he has the most terrible reputation!
Scarlett: He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy

This morning when I got up I was reading blogs, as I do, and some were quite interesting because I had no idea what the writers were talking about other than they were talking about people they did not like. If I was smarter or knew the code I would have worked it out but for it was 4am…so, my question to you - someone says they hate you. What do you do? Do you take it to heart? Wonder what you have done to incur such hatred? Curl into a ball on the sofa? Demand answers from said ‘hater’? Or do you think so what? Out of the nine-thousand-nine hundred-and-ninety-nine problems in my life at this moment your opinion is nine-thousand-nine hundred-and-ninety-ninth on my list of things to worry about. What happens when that person then puts all over the internet that you suck? Do you defend yourself through litigation? Write vicious letters to the person to retract their comments or do you just raise an eyebrow and wonder when high school will ever end?

Don’t you just sometimes feel high school never ended? I was talking to another writer the other day about a ‘high school’ situation that had happened. Remember the cool girls that the boys all liked? Some of the ones I went to school with never lived past their 20’s because drugs were cool and ‘everyone is doing it.’ The ones that lived are looking a lot less than cool now because I believe that were never prepared for high school to end when they married the ‘cool’ boy. I know ‘ugly girls’ that have outshone everyone because they had a quiet dignified, determination that others could not see behind the second hand, torn school uniform, braces, ‘awful’ hair and the wrong shoes. I also know quiet, gentle beauties who were considered cold, when they were really just shy, who have gone on to do amazing things because they learnt from a young age that looks aren’t all that important and understanding is.

So what is my point? My own personal belief is words can only hurt you if you let them. High school, although a long time ago for some of us, is over, yet others never let it go be it through fear or jealousy or the need to be a part of something. And no, surprisingly, I am not the most loveable person on the planet. Anyone who shoots from the hip isn’t but that’s okay because I know the consequences of my actions every time I open my mouth. I can handle whatever is dished out. I also believe if you put yourself out there in any form you have to be prepared to take some knocks. I am always saying that to be a writer you have to be thick skinned. To me that’s rule number one. Just because you use words for a living doesn’t mean people cannot try to tear you down with their own words.

So, how thick skinned are you? Is someone’s hatred only important if they mean something to you? Do words either verbal or written upset you or do you move on? Would an internet attack scar you or if managed, with careful thought, bring people to you? Can reputation really damage a person? Or due to the pace of life will wounding words be the proverbial fish and chip wrapping tomorrow? Can you live without worrying about a rep and be true to yourself? And if one person attacks another due to their own inadequacy does any of this really matter? Ah, the stuff you can ponder early in the morning.

Rhett Butler: With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.

Sad news…Colin the whale is dead. See here for more He was separated from his mum. People fought hard to keep Colin alive. We all hoped he would live. A one stage he followed a boat thinking it was his mother. What is it about whales that makes people so passionate to save them? Maybe because we have stuffed up the environment so badly for so many years that too late we are realizing what treasures we have…poor Colin….actually just heard Colin was a Collette…still sucks either way.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Come in Spinner...

The front steps are almost in. I say almost as the balustrades go in tomorrow. Like everything, I don’t just want anything simple. Anyway, I came home this arvo and was pleased to see the stairs in. I ran up and down them a couple of times. Why? Not sure. Just wanted to. Then I looked at the pile of old wood. Now, unless you are a died in wool renovator, you cannot see what amazing stuff can be found in rubbish – wood especially. I cannot walk past a large metal skip bin without looking inside because who knows what fantastic thing is in there that I was not sure I needed until then? Anyway I knew three of the hard wood stairs were in excellent nick. So I waded through the wood pile. I picked up the first one. Holy snapping ducks it was heavy. After much swearing I dragged it under the house. I am a strong woman but bloody hell. A more sane person would have stopped but I never claimed to be sane so I dragged the other two in swearing and cursing as I did. What am I going to do with them? I am going to sink them into the ground as part of the crazy wooden pathway I have. Degree of difficulty? Frigging hard...

Other than new steps - that's it. Best friend Ethel and I have another plan to win the big lotto this weekend. What plan? It's The Bob Plan. Never heard of it? We normally each buy a lotto ticket in joint names. This time I bought a syndicate ticket between us. The syndicate is called Bob's Big Blow Out. That sounded like a winner to me. Ethel agrees. She says she can 'feel it in her water' and she added she is ‘never wrong.' I pointed out that she was also 'rarely ever right' but that was okay as one cancelled the other out and that meant that we started fresh with good karma. Yes, it's a load of crap but that's what we are pinning our hopes on. Besides, Bob is a good, solid old fashioned time. Not Bobby or Robby – just plain solid, dependable Bob – Come in Spinner as we would say in Oz when we want to win. What? See below.
Two-up is a traditional Australian gambling game, involving a designated 'Spinner' throwing two coins into the air. Players gamble on whether the coins will fall with both heads up, both tails up, or with one coin a head, and one a tail (known as 'Odds'). It is traditionally played on ANZAC Day in pubs and clubs throughout Australia, in part to mark a shared experience with Diggers through the ages.

That's it…it's still frigging boring around my way despite the step thing. Just have to get through Friday now...To counteract yesterday’s blog about the dumb things people say - here are some wise things. Like our idea of lotto karma, sometimes wise words can wash away the dumb or at least make you feel better…it evens out somewhere – trust me…

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You will turn over many a futile new leaf till you learn we must all write on scratched-out pages. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Now that it's all over, what did you really do yesterday that's worth mentioning? ~Coleman Cox

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him. ~Leo Aikman

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel

Tough and funny and a little bit kind: that is as near to perfection as a human being can be. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Excess on occasion is exhilirating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped. ~African Proverb

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. ~John Lennon

Be kind to your shadow. ~Rebecca Lawless

Whatever you are be a good one. ~Abraham Lincoln

The day will happen whether or not you get up. ~John Ciardi

Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got. ~Janis Joplin

Never believe in mirrors or newspapers. ~Tom Stoppard

To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy. ~Hippocrates

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. ~Buddha

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. ~Chinese Proverb

Yes, very deep and meaningful. I promise I won’t be tomorrow but I was in charge at work today and it completely screwed with my mind and cut into my time having to be responsible.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Amazing Grace....

Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."
- Abraham Lincoln

I am so hormonal at the moment that I could quite easily hunt down major terrorists and give them the arse kicking of their life. 'Know what I mean? Sure you do. So I leave you with the stupid things people have been quoted as saying in lieu of anything calm and rational, or vaguely so, that I could write. Tomorrow, the new front house stairs will be going in. Ethel, best friend, did ask if I would be home for this event and I said no, I don't feel I will be able to handle workmen and hormones at the same time. I mean, I want the steps in and pissing off workmen with hormones from hell won’t get that done will it?

Starting with The Mount Isa Mayor – see Monday’s blog for more -

But now I've got men telling me they've got a right to be selective and they don't want me pushing beauty disadvantaged women on them."
He said Mount Isa provided an opportunity for women to transform themselves.

"It's a compliment," he said. "A woman can come here and transfer themselves with love and devotion in marriage from an ugly ducking to a beautiful swan. It can have a complete transformation for a woman."

“I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, "Thyroid problem?" - Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Governor and actor

"The world is more like it is now then it ever has before." - Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States.

"I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it's so petty." - Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and a political figure in the Philippines.

"For most people, death comes at the end of their lives." - Radio broadcaster, UK

"I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father." - Greg Norman, Golfer

A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it is proven." - Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

My high school student councilor to my mother and me:-

Councillor: “Based on these tests your daughter will never amount to anything, Mrs Jones.”
Mrs Jones: You are both wrong and an idiot.

Good one mum…where would I have been without you?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The most boring day....

I swear it was the most boring, tedious, mind numbing day today where not even balancing a pen on my nose, gossiping with co-workers or writing sex at my desk could make the day go quickly. It was so boring that I began to think that watching paint drying was an underrated hobby. Anyway as I sat there half asleep pretending I was actually concentrating deeply and not just staring inanely at the screen, I started to think about stuff I don’t get. This was sparked after I went for my usual walk at lunchtime to reassure myself that there was a world outside the parallel universe I am stuck at 8 hours-a-frigging-day. Anyway it was cold and windy - which is just wrong for winter in sub tropical Brisbane - and I thought stuff it I will have a hot chocolate. So I bought one on the way back. I was asked at the cafe how many marshmallows do I want in my drink? I don’t understand the whole marshmallows in hot chocolate thing. Where did that come from? What soul decided that would be a good thing to stuff gelatinous, squishy sugary things into a cup of warm liquid? Mind you they should have patented the idea because everyone seems to do it - but me of course. That got me thinking, in my intense coma of boredom, about other stuff I don’t get…

-I don’t understand why toasted marshmallows are a big deal. Why do people get excited at the thought of gooey insides?

- What’s with the hole in the lid of a takeaway coffee cup? You have a lid put on so you don’t spill…then there’s a hole in it - which means you could spill. Yes I know it's to drink out of. I just don’t get why adults need to drink from something an uncoordinated small child would drink from. And how many women would drink from that sipper hole where you would ruin your lipstick? Who’s idea was that?

- What’s the deal with people who have to call all woman Mrs Jones, Mrs Smith, Mrs Brown etc? To me, it’s overly politically correct. You cannot lump all women of a certain age into the ‘Mrs’ bracket.

- And have you ever noticed that teenagers who get married insist on calling themselves Mrs Black or whatever name so you know they are married? You had a first name before you married him, sweetie - try and keep some identity. And it's not like ‘Mrs’ is a title like Queen or princess…and I don’t get me started on the whole monarchy thing where people are considered ‘majestic’ when they are fairly bloody ordinary.

- And what about people who want you to listen to them but they don’t listen to you and when you point that out to them they get offended - well here’s the thing - don’t offend me by not listening.

- I still don't understand, despite all the hoo-ha over ultra thin models on the catwalk, why we still see them and why the media goes crazy when a so-called plus sized woman enters a beauty competition. It’s about beauty isn’t it?

- And why people turn up to reality TV show auditions and think they can sing or dance when they bloody can’t and they get all upset because the judges tell then to go away. Why doesn’t someone they love tell them “Neville – you can’t dance worth a damn and as a singer you make grown men think your testicles are in a knot.” The greatest service you can do for a friend is offer them a reality check.

- what about people who insist on having 60 items in the 8 items or less check-out and then they get pissed off when you point that out to them - well what? Did you think we wouldn’t notice? Thought you could just slip in there and look all casual?

- I don’t get why drivers speed up towards you when you are using a pedestrian crossing. Ever noticed that? What? Are you supposed to run across it? Do they want you to be afraid?

- Or when you are overtaking a slow driver on the highway and they suddenly speed up? It’s not a game and no one is going to think less of you if you can’t keep up.

- Any what is it with non-disabled people who park in designated disabled parking spots? What's that about? Pig ignorant or plain lazy?

- Why people have Ipods attached like suckers to their ears and the music is so loud that you can hear it without the ear phones? How is that personalized music?

- Why does the bank insist on charging bank service fees for a no frills service where they don't provide any counter service?

I could go on and on…see where boredom gets you? And sure - what does it all matter? It doesn't - it's just the imponderables in life that strike you as you are making a chain out of all the paperclips in your desk drawer to stay awake.

What don't you get? Come on…I can’t be the only person making paperclip jewelry.

Please note – I was so bored I have a cat picture.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Monday, 18 August 2008

Beauty disadvantaged?

I heard something so ridiculous on the radio this morning that there was no way I could not have an opinion on it…

“May I suggest if there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa," Cr Molony said.

"Quite often you will see walking down the street a lass who is not so attractive with a wide smile on her face. Whether it is recollection of something previous or anticipation for the next evening, there is a degree of happiness.

"Often those who are beauty-disadvantaged are uphappy with their lot.”

Read more here

Hmmmif you read my blog regularly you'll know how I feel about crap like this. Beauty
disadvantaged? Oh please…

I know there is a great problem of male to female ratio in remote areas in Australia, and across the world, when it comes to people being able to find partners. When you think about it, this has been a problem for centuries. Think back hundreds of years to the whole 'go west young man' thing when men headed off to seek fortune and adventure. Think of the gold rushes, the land booms or even further to when adventurers sailed the sea in search of new lands to colonize. There has always been the problem of a lack of women in remote locales. And yeah, that would be hard for men wanting to have love in their life and start a family.

So back to this 'beauty disadvantaged' crap. Which genius decided who or what is disadvantaged in this way? And trying to neatly with over-political correctness call it beauty disadvantaged does not make it any better when you know this old fashioned individual means ugly - or what he deems as ugly. And exactly whose beauty standards do we follow in this? Isn’t there enough crap now about perceptions of beauty and how people - women - young girls - are killing themselves to look a certain way without perpetuating this crap? And here's another thing…what if you are single and alone and wanting romance? Do you start to think to yourself 'I must be unattractive? Maybe I have to go out west where the men are desperate for women and I could get lucky.' What message does that send women? If you can’t find a man in a place where there are more men then women then you’re in deep trouble and there is no hope for you? Or are you supposed to go to a remote location and take up with any bloke as it could be your last chance?

And what about the men in these areas?
The mining town has traditionally had a largely male population, with many of the men saying they move to Mount Isa to earn money, not find love.
Maybe some are looking for a partner. Maybe some aren’t. Why is there this old fashioned need to pair people up? Maybe they are there working in a remote area for the specific reason to earn money and when they have enough they'll go back to where they came from. Maybe they don’t want to settle down in a remote area and have a family. Maybe they don't want to be seen as desperate in the eyes of a woman. How many men would? Also are these men beauty disadvantaged or disadvantaged in some another way that sends them to these remote locations? Are they hiding out there because they cannot function in life somewhere else? Of course they're not. If it was the other way around and men were going to a remote town in search of the plethora of women you can bet this person wouldn’t have called them ‘beauty disadvantaged.’ They would have been called something that indicated the whole caveman-boys-will-be-boys thing.

And here's another thing - just because a woman or a man in not in a relationship does not mean they are desperate to be in one – or that they are unattractive. Some people can stand alone. They do not need to throw themselves in desperation at someone to love them. They can quite easily go and work somewhere remote without needing to scratch an itch or start searching for Mr or Mrs. Right. Let's get into the real world and accept people for who and what they are and stop the perception that there is something wrong with them if they are not joined at the hip with someone.

To me, this person’s comments were a smack in the face to this great town, to women and to men. Maybe he needs to think about what century he is in. Beauty disadvantaged? I know no one physically so. However some seem to be lacking brain cells.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?