Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Odds and sods...

The cover gods sent me another beaut cover for I Don’t Think So. Again, it is exactly what I asked for. Big kiss to the Ellora’s Cave cover gods. What’s I Don’t think So About? A warlock who has to subdue a woman who’s not about to be put in her place.


Fear of Being is an erotic novel unlike any other I have read. With hot sex scenes, a paranormal twist, and a happily-ever-after, it’s a must read for 2009 – just be prepared to take a cold shower. Ms. Jones has created a book in which women can be found desirable regardless of their weight. It was a refreshing change to see a heroine who wasn’t a size 4. An action packed tale, Fear of Being is sure to have you turning page after page waiting to see what happens next.

Available August 2009 by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

Yeah, Fear of Being is not due until August with Whiskey Creek Torrid – I'm awaiting the cover - but I got a review already and it’s a good one – evidence I don’t suck completely…at least not today…maybe tomorrow. So Fear of Being – what’s it about? It’s a ménage/romance/creepy book based on a recurring nightmare I keep having…yeah – weird huh? I never said I was normal…

A moment to vent…

Does it make you mad when you pour out your feelings to someone and they just don’t get it? You say things that are so intensely personal and make you want to cry and they just say something so dumb that you just want to scream. Do you just sit there and think –
are you even listening? Did you ever listen? Was it all just an act for you? How dumb was I?

Do you notice that never happens in romance novels? I can see why people read ‘em. It’s because the hero isn’t as thick as two short planks and although he may be average and flawed he at least understands that the heroine just needs to get things out into the open and that it’s not always about him – it’s about her and her need to be selfish for five seconds and just say stuff so she can move on and breathe a little easier. Do you notice the hero never fobs her off? He listens. Why is that? Because the majority of romance books are written by women or by men who have a clue. They get women. They understand that not everything is an e=mc2 equation that has to be solved in an a-b-c-manner and that emotion isn’t always rational and that sometimes the need to just get something off your chest is more important then trying to keeping everything on a even keel.

I don’t hate men. I just understand them less and less as the years go by. I don’t want a man to solve my problems. I would just like one man, without an agenda, who listens and actually appreciates, and not necessarily agrees with, what I say. I am beginning to believe he only exists in romance novels. This probably accounts for the fact the less people marry and more people live alone – check your local census - and yet romance novels are always popular – it’s all because e=mc2 is not the solution to every problem. Actual listening is. So, when you want to scream, read a book. It’s easier than dealing with a brick wall.
Be an Amarinda book

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Stupid Cupid...

I went and did something really stupid – something I swore I would not do. I went and fell in love. Head slap – idiot – fool – moron - twit. It was something I was determined not to do because I was aiming for lust – lust is simpler than love. Lust requires no deep thought. It’s just about desire and need and the fulfillment of it. So, lust was my plan – just get involved to a point then back that hell away. Don’t you just love half-arsed plans? Anyway, somewhere along the line the plan went skew-iff and I started to have these weird feelings for this man. It was my own fault really. You start exchanging life stories and telling each other personal things you’ve never told another soul because you feel this safety in spilling your guts. I think that’s where the love bit started. The gut spilling. It’s really quite pathetic when I think about it. Just because you share intimate stuff doesn’t mean love. It’s sort of like the common cold. If you share that with someone it doesn’t mean romance does it? It just means one of you is germy and you make the other all hot and achy and feeling rotten.

I have this terrible habit of thinking too much. It messes everything up because when I think I want more and better and I realize stuff that’s just not right – and then I start thinking why am I putting myself through something that is probably not going to work out? How do you know it’s not going to work out? Well, you don’t until your brain finally kicks in and starts analyzing what’s going on. The whole thinking thing is actually good, despite what anyone tells you. It’s your brain’s way of smacking sense into your heart. If you let your heart take control god knows where you would end up.

So, while I know that the old adage of opposites attracting is true, the rest of is just crap. Some people can’t be together for many reasons and why you even bother trying in any form in the first place is completely beyond me but it’s probably that whole being a human thing. We just can’t help throwing ourselves into madness and danger can we? Dumb. Needless to say I am NEVER going there or even close to it again. I believe I would rather stick a needle in my eye.

Why am I telling you this? You know, I wasn’t going to but I just needed to say it out loud and move on and stop all the wanting to do all this emotional stuff like the burst into tears shit. I’m not a crier by nature but I have been quite pathetic and I have decided it must stop. It’s not me. I’m not emotional and I hate being so. So I am officially over it. I feel better for saying it out loud.

Love is a germ. Wash your hands, cover your mouth and
back away the hell away.

Fuck off Cupid.
Be an Amarinda book

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Reality check...

Taking time out to breathe and think. Back Monday. Have a good weekend.

Be an Amarinda book

Friday, 26 June 2009

Cheese with that whine?

My Grandfather Bill used to quote this line from a poem - "Christmas in the Poorhouse"…actually probably misquoted it and I'm not even sure the poem existed but it went something like…"And you can take your plum pudding and shove it up your jumper." My point? Well, it's about the current, never ending hoo-ha over RWA and what they have or haven’t done now. Where does Grandfather Bill's quote fit in? Well, in the sense that if you don't like how someone operates then either tell 'em to shove it up their jumper and walk away or shut up and accept it. Just don't whine about it. Whining gets you nowhere and it makes people’s ears bleed.

What is RWA? Well, it seems to depend on which group you fit into. Either it's an association that helps romance writers with their craft. Or it's a fascist organization that is run by cranky old women with tight knicker elastic who enforce rules from the Ark. Me? I fit into neither group. I couldn't give a rat’s arse about RWA. I do what I do because it suits me. I am my own group. I write e-books because I want to and if some organization thinks less of me for that then my care factor is negative 12.

The thing that I am sick to death of hearing is card carrying RWA writers bleating that RWA is a terrible, archaic organization that should change its rules regarding e-books, genre and the colour of member’s underwear...or whatever. I'm not up on the rules….the underwear thing could be wrong so don’t quote that as fact. While I agree people should try and change things they do not agree with, banding together and continuously saying how 'unfair' RWA is and yet doing nothing about it is going to do stuff all in the scheme of things. Nothing is fair in life. We all know that. Work for change – don’t work yourself into a tizz expecting fairness…it ain’t gonna happen.

Like any group RWA is a clique. I get cliques. You fit in or you don't. What I don't get is why it’s so important to care what these people think or say. Aren’t writers writing because they want to write for love or for money? And if they aren’t happy with RWA shouldn't they just leave? Or is it a case of people like to belong to something? Are they maybe scared that if they are not a member of an association like this then they'll miss out on secret romance book writing business?

I’m fascinated why people are so upset by RWA yet will not leave it. That in itself gives RWA more power. How? Because people stay within the ranks, paying their money, because I believe they’re scared that somehow they won’t get published at ‘Whiz-bang’ press in New York or wherever. They don’t want to rock the boat of a powerful being they feel could determine their future. And yeah maybe you might miss out on something – or maybe you won’t. Maybe it will have stuff all to do with what membership cards you have or secret handshakes you know. Maybe you’ll get published because writing is a business and a good book will always beat a membership card. Maybe breaking from the herd is a good thing when you’re not happy with the direction taken.

So, surely if you’re unhappy then you have the right to leave. It seems pretty damn simple to me. And, if you do choose to stay and remain unhappy, stop whining. It's annoying. Book writing and publishing is a business. It’s not a fluffy, pretty place where everyone holds hands and agrees. Stuff happens. Go with it or effect change or move on.
Be an Amarinda book

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The advocating of numb…

I got nothing. I feel nothing. I feel numb. I like numb. You always know where you stand with numb because you’re not required to feel anything. You’re not happy or sad nor do you feel stupid or tired or angry. You’re just numb. You’re just are. I believe numbness in itself is a way of your soul protecting you from stuff that you just can’t and shouldn’t deal with until you’re ready to deal. I think we should all cultivate more numb in our lives. It’s soothing. Numb is sort of like a moment to collect yourself before you charge off into more chaos. I advocate more numb in the world and maybe we’ll all be a little less dumb…just a thought for the United Nations…
Be an Amarinda book

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Holiday reading...

While I was on hols (holiday/vacation) I read various the way, I am never going on hols again. It's too frigging hard to get back into work mode. You know what its like. Holiday? What holiday? Anyway, back to the books...I read four. Three were boring as all get out but the fourth I read in one sitting. It was a genre I was not overly interested in reading - male/male romance. No, it wasn't because of the subject. Romance is romance regardless of genre or body parts. It was more that previous M/M books I had read turned me off reading more. It was to do with the language in those stories. What do I mean by that? Previous ones I had read in this genre had the men speaking to each other in the most cutesy terms that made the stories unbelievable to me.

Now, I am more than aware lovers, whatever gender, have their own language but I swear to god I don’t want to hear anyone - male or female - talking cutesy baby talk through an entire book. I don’t want to sit there wincing as I try to get into the story. I do wonder if the previous rush of a large section of writers to pen an M/M story had something to do with the genre sliding into the silly and cutesy. I don’t believe everyone can write M/M. I don’t believe jumping on a bandwagon is a good thing if your style does not reflect the market or if you don’t understand the genre. I believe the influx in dross M/M novels had a lot to do with writers wanting to cash in on a lucrative following. Whatever happened to write what you know? There has to be some basis in reality.

But – back to the book I really liked and read in one sitting – Sex, Lies and Celluloid by Jodi Payne and Chris Owen. It had a great story and believable characters and the men acted like real people, real lovers and not a version of what some writer thought gay men spoke like. No, I don’t know the writers of this book. But the book impressed me. I want real, believable stories...not people jumping on a cash cow. Yes, of course. Its human nature to jump on a fad but surely a credible, enjoyable story is more important than another published book under your belt.

**Contest below**
Be an Amarinda book

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Stop it, Enrique…

Okay this song is annoying the hell out of me. Every time I’m in Patrick – my car – this seems to come on the radio. I think someone at the radio station has ‘issues’…click here

I can be your hero, baby,” Enrique spruiks…Really? Seriously? Oh please. Why does ‘baby’ need a hero? And more to the point why does anyone have to save anyone? Can’t ‘baby’ save herself?

Yes, possibly I’m in a pissy mood but, forgetting that, I have never believed women want a hero. Why not? Because women are more than capable of looking after themselves and while women crave romance they don’t require some man to turn up and make everything instantly better. Why not? Because you can’t lay that burden at any man’s feet. No one can sort out anyone else’s problems. That’s asking too much. Oh sure, they can wander along and help but to my mind a hero – in the true sense of the word – is more than a romantic ideal. A hero is someone who has the courage to step forward when others falter in the face of adversity. Now sure, some women can be hell to deal with – i.e – PMS - but that’s not being heroic for a man is it? That’s just a death wish.

Yes, I know it’s just a song. But who thinks up these songs? And why? Are they catering to a niche of women who sit and sigh and think “if only ‘he’ was in my life, everything would be great.” Bollocks. No real woman thinks like that. Its such old fashioned thinking perpetuated by stereotypical mass marketing aimed at making women feel inadequate in handling life on their own without a man. See how one little song makes me mad? And no, not all romance writing has the heroine needing a man to make her life ‘complete.’ He may make it more enjoyable, as she does for him, but in my books, and others, she would be just as capable on her own.

The thing is – go with me on this or not – I believe women want a sensible, practical, romantic man who has a good sense of humour, can take orders and just be there when required and bugger off (leave) when not. No one should have to save anyone in a relationship. Be your own hero.

Okay – now that I have the said my piece on Enrique and his bloody song…contest…I have one – see below. Yes, you can enter. It’s a piece of piss (‘easy’ in Aussie speak). I have been most impressed and outright amused by some of the entries. So go for it…
Be an Amarinda book

Monday, 22 June 2009


Isn’t this a lovely cover? Honest to god, the Ellora’s Cave Cover Gods spoil me rotten. I always get exactly what I ask for. I love it. Big kiss to the Cover Gods.

Okay, I have unpacked – sorta – and I found a bunch of souvenirs from Cairns to give away. So first prize - randomly drawn winner - will have….

Aussie thongs (flip flops)
An Aboriginal design printed T-shirt – XXL
A bottle holder
Pretty pink baseball cap
A sparkly tumbler…I bought one for myself as well – love it
A Kuranda Skyrail frog pencil
Boomerang fridge magnet
Cairns key ring
Leather and bead friendship bracelet from Kuranda. I bought heaps of these – I love ‘em.
And I’ll chuck in some Amarinda stuff as well…

The questions –

1. The Hard Man cover – what is the most noticeable thing about this cover – can be one of many answers
2. Where was I on holiday for a week? (see above and below – starts with ‘C’)

So – contest ends Saturday 28th June at midnight (EST USA). First winner drawn at random wins the stuff…so give it a go. Email me the answers

Back to work this cool, drizzly Monday morning...ah, reality….
Be an Amarinda book

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Ah, the shambolic-ness of home....

Just a short note – home and knackered – but pulled out a couple of quick pics for you. No, correct, I am not Ansel Adams. I’m half-arsed Amarinda. I shoot first and worry about framing later. This one of me is on the Kuranda Skyrail. I wanted to see how terrified I looked. The glasses hide a lot…

Okay – more tomorrow – including the contest – I have to unpack and find the prize…

Picture of my feet from Skyrail. I really concentrated on them rather than looking out and below... that's navy blue nail polish...I was in a navy blue mood...

This is one of the few quick photos I took from the skyrail. It's pretty half arsed but hey, I was screaming a lot...
To the right is a croc in it's natural habitat...if you click on it, it looks pretty good...
Below is Goliath from the Reef Casino Rainforest skydome...look how pissed he looks...I really wanted to rescue him...

Right is his crappy little can see why he is pissed. It's just wrong to cage animals.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Back to reality...

...back home to Brizzie tomorrow and real life. Cairns has been great but it's not my reality. However, if you are considering a trip to Oz and especially to the pointy bit of Australia...come to Cairns - you won't be disappointed.

So, home to laundry Sunday arvo and work Monday morning and another 10 - 15 years 'til the next break. That's okay. I have come to believe too much relaxation makes you soft.

I'll have a new cover to post when I'm back on line, several dozen photos to bore your socks off and a contest with souvenirs I have picked up in stay tuned. I'll asked two terribly hard questions on Monday....


Terrible urge....

So, there's this croc called Goliath that hangs out in the rainforest sky dome of the Reef Casino in Cairns. It's a simulated rainforest with all sorts of Aussie birds flying free and swooping down on you when you least expect it. Most alarming to a city girl who only encounters maggies (magpies) swooping in September when they are protecting their nests. There's also lizards and rock wallabies jumping out at you as well. Talk about urban wild kingdom.

Anyway - back to the croc. I felt really bad for him. He looked kind of pissed like he wanted out. I get that. Haven't we all been in that situation? Stuck in a shit house (Aussie for not nice) place and unable to do anything but just sit and bide time. Unfortunately for Goliath he was stuck behind a wire fence in a simulated pond setting. Yeah, I have photos. I asked the ranger person about him.
"Oh no," she said. "He's very happy."
How can you tell I asked.
She looked at me vaguely. "Well, he's a crocodile." Uh huh...which to me is "I don't bloody know and go away annoying tourist person."

I'm going back there today. I have the most terrible urge to help Goliath escape. As I see it, it's a matter of getting him down the stairs, into the elevator, through the casino and over to the marina where he can slide off the jetty into the water. How hard can that be?

Today, I plan to hit the markets on the esplande and then flake out beside the pool reading...then swimming...reading...swimming...etc. Yesterday was fantastic. I learned so much about the history of Cairns. Yeah, I'm one of those people who have to know everything.


Friday, 19 June 2009

Absolutely knackered...

...been everywhere and done heaps of stuff from wanting to rescue a croc at a Casino to shopping to Palm Cove to jettys, wharves, beaches to fantastic Botanical gardens and the Royal Flying Doctor Base...will bore you to tears with it tomorrow...and photos? Man oh man, do I have photos... that a glass of wine calling my name? I believe it is.... it would be rude not to answer....


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Today in the rambling adventures of Amarinda...

...I went to Tjabukai. It's an Aborginial Cultural Centre set in the rainforest outside of Carins. It was incredibly interesting. I think the thing that was reinforced to me the most, when listening to stories of the past and the dreamtime, is that every ancient civilization, clan, tribe - call it what you will - have all endured through the ages and every culture has a similar story of struggle and of being overpowered yet keeping their traditions alive. Maybe we should occasionally remember we're not all that different.

Other than that - went walkabout around Cairns and I am now going into flop on a poolside lounger and read - followed by swimming - followed by reading get the picture. I figure by the time I get back to Brizzie I will be able to pick up every thing I dropped to come here.

Relaxtion? Yes, I totally recommend it every 10 years...though, I have to admit I miss the big city...


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

What a scream...literally...

OMG!!! In an attempt to prove I am a big brave romance writer I went on a cable car ride above the rainforest canopy on the way to a fantastic tourist village called Kuranda. If you are in Cairns - make sure you go to this village. I loved it. I also bought stuff for me and friends and one lucky Amarinda reader who will win a swag of stuff I have collected on my travels too...but more on that later. Stay tuned.

So - the skyrail - against my better judgement and Spidey sense, I boarded a green capsule thing and hurtled a gazillion miles over tree tops. I am scared to death of heights. This was so scary that I screamed all the way. I kid you not. I had the capsule of terror to myself. Thank god as anyone else would have been deaf after travelling with me. Here's what I think....the only thing that should soar above trees should be birds. I am sure the scenery was amazing. Every so often I looked up from my feet to take a quick, haphazard photo. It would be a fantastic trip if you weren't prone to screaming. While I have been up the arch thingy in St Louis, USA and a cable car in Switzerland, the Kuranda skyrail was the most scariest thing I have ever done. There is only one thing that could have scared me more but I'm smart enough to avoid that.

A highlight of my Kuranda village outing - other than retail therapy - was a tarot reading with a peace-love-and-mung-beans-greenie type. My cards were 'kick arse' and there is apparently nothing I cannot succeed in...well of course.

What's planned tomorrow? Not for a swim now then several glasses of plonk to steady my nerves...medicinal purposes only...

Be good or be fast and have an alibi


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Thar be crocs....

I went on this fabulous, peaceful Eco cruise today out of Cairns, through Trinity waterways. The sun was shining, the breeze was just light enough and the scenery fantastic. And, all of those people in my mobile (cell) phone book all got a picture of a wild crocodile that we saw. And no, despite many suggestions sent back to me, I decided not to climb overboard and pat it. We then went to a crocodile farm. I'll be honest. I had no idea what to expect. Crocs yes, but - and this is how dumb and city girl I am, it did not occur to me that they killed these crocs so Hermes in Paris could sell handbags to rich ladies. I was quite appalled. But, after a while, my practical, common sense kicked in. It's a business. It's like killing cows for leather or other animals as food to eat. So, I was both appalled - the soft, rarely ever seen side - while the hard, business side could see the profit in it for the company and the state. Never seen so many crocs. Quite fascinating and I took lots of photos to bore you with when I get home. 'Spent the rest of the arvo swimming, lounging and wandering the streets of Cairns. So this is what relaxation is...amazing Grace.

Tomorrow I am going on the Kuranda Sky rail - train thingy - basically it's high up in the rain forest...maybe something like a bazillion feet. I hate heights. I am you're basic screaming, clutching onto anything that's close ninny when I encounter them. So, I plan to gird my loins, slap myself around the head somewhat and go up in the sky rail. Why? Because I would be a wimp not to. Will I be scared? Oh hell yeah..


Monday, 15 June 2009

Having a lovely time...wish you were here...

....especially as I have a free invite to drinks and nibbles at the bar. Lovely. I am already fuelled up on the daiquiri I had at the swim-up bar. What a lovely invention a swim up bar is. I have made a mental note to get one if I ever get a pool.

Cairns - interesting place - it reminds me of a big old country town with palm trees. It's very casual which I like - and warm - which beats the hell out of Brizzie at the moment.

Highlights...other than the swim up bar - walked my pudgy legs off, bought some Doc Martens at a Gothic-Fetish shoe shop. It's most interesting what fetishes people are into. I discussed them indepth with the lady who owned the shop. I also acquired some lovely skull socks as I feel you can never have too many skulls on your socks. What else? Cairns has an astounding amount of sex shops. Yes, I knew you would be interested by this. I was....must be the climate - all that moist heat...other than that, I just wandered aimlessly as you do when you are on hols. I expect I will be knackered tonight. I am off to see crocodiles tomorrow...

Anyway - off to the the free drinks...would be rude not to...


Uh huh...

Why can’t people leave things alone….

The makers of what is arguably Australia's most identifiable food may be American, but they are well aware of the danger of tampering with a national icon.

Which is why the people at Kraft Foods took the advice of more than 300,000 Australians before they meddled with Vegemite.

As I sat and ate my vegemite on toast, I read this and thought ‘new coke’. Remember when they stuffed around with Coca-Cola? I don’t care how many Aussies this now American company polled, you cannot mess around with a classic. When will these people ever learn?

Yes, just about to take my frozen self up North to defrost the outer layers but I just had to comment on this dipstick move. Some people will never get it. Leave icons alone - especially if you do not belong to the country of origin.
Be an Amarinda book

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Deep breath out...

I have been worrying about something so much that it occurred to me last night that it was tying me up in the tightest knots. Yes, a normal person would have accepted this as a bad thing long ago but hey – I’m not normal and I always just assume I can handle everything that comes my way. Therefore it was a stunning realization to me, last night when I couldn’t sleep, that I can’t. Well damn. I’m not invincible. So the answer? Stop worrying. I am normally not someone who worries. But suddenly I have become one. I don’t like this weakness. You know when someone says ‘don’t worry’ – yeah – that used to be me – it’s easy to say when it’s not specific to you. I have learned though that I will not ever say that to anyone ever again. The shoe has most definitely been on the other foot and I get it now. Ah – the epiphanies of life – they just keeping slapping you in the head over and over until you get it don’t they? So I have let go of that which worries me and I can breathe a little easier.

So, determined to remain worry free, I’m off to have lunch with 2 friends today – Katie and Ethel. It feels like I have known them forever. They’re the sort of people that you don’t have to explain every little thing to and it’s like picking up a conversation that never ends. There’s great peace in that. There is no worry or pretence. You can just be and relax.

Have a soft, soulful Sunday. I fly out to Cairns tomorrow so I’ll make an effort, in between margaritas by the pool, to waddle in and write a blog about the fabulousness of Cairns.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Amarinda Code...

I have a terrible habit of doing everything fast…real fast. I talk, walk and write fast. I don’t know why because I’m not built whippet-thin fast. I just do things quickly. I sent this email yesterday to er, let’s call him, Harry, and he emailed back ‘what are you talking about?’ Well, with me that could be anything as my thoughts jump all over the place and once I’ve banged off one email I’ll often bang off another straight after as I’ve thought of something else to say. Consequently people wonder if I ever run out of words. I do. When I’m asleep or very nervous. Neither happens a lot. Evil never sleeps and only one person makes me nervous.

Anyway, I read the email that I sent to young Harry and thought ‘well crap, he doesn’t understand the Amarinda code yet.’ That and the fact he’s a man and well, we all know they take longer to understand basic female-ese. That’s the study of female language. Yes, maybe I made the word up but any woman reading this gets it straight away. You can half say things to women in an email, especially so with friends, and they understand instantly. You can uses crap punctuation, hypens – I’m big on those, lots of “……” which to me means fill and the blanks and draw your own conclusions and you can stuff up the spelling without censure because a woman is reading the substance for meaning and not there to correct grammar. Women look at the broader picture. Women are smart.

That’s not to say men aren’t. Men just look at something and think ‘that sentence doesn’t make sense’ and ‘what does she mean?’ I find you have to be ultra specific when you email the male species and half arsed words and fast writing to impart knowledge doesn’t work with them. They never get the whole female-ese and I must try not to use the Amarinda code with them. Sigh…but they have their good points I believe.

I guess it comes down to one simple fact. We all have our quirks. People who really know me understand I am going to do things fast, fast and manic fast. They excuse my half arsed Amarinda code. It’s not that I don’t care about them – I do. It’s just my brain is wired for speed. Will I slow down? I expect when I’m dead. Until then, it’s full speed ahead.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Friday, 12 June 2009

X - me

Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.”

It's Friday in Oz and I only have to get through today and I have a week off from work. Hallelujah and pass the gin. I haven't had a real holiday in 10 years. Usually I have been moving, working, renovating or in hospital. Yes, can you hear the violins? Anyway I reallllly need a week off. Yes, yes, we all do – you should too - go ahead do it. You have my permission - go and quote my name as a reference. At Promptel (code name for crap phone company I used to work for) we always had to get permission to do anything in that job. Why? Just to make our lives miserable.

There was a string of numbers starting with a C that had to be obtained to do anything like have a decision approved and the staff were always wandering in despair trying to find a manager to get approval and the magical C number. As managers, their job was to be as scarce as possible when a decision had to be made. This would frustrate the hell out of good staff. I say good staff as all the bad staff simply made up C numbers. What did the C stand for? Cantaloupe? Crap? Crud? I don't know. I was quite fond of making up X numbers as approvals – X19 was a favourite of mine. Why? Just because I could. The thing was no one ever queried my use of this illegal X number. This proves my theory that all rules are made up by people with nothing else to do with their time other than making life hard for the average worker - so I say thwart them back.

Anyway if you need an X number for an approval - email me. I can X19 you.

“If it has Tires or Testicles it's gonna give you trouble.”
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

As dodgy as a two bob watch…

I'm ordering stuff to send to Ellora's Cave Romanticon - what's that? Click here. Its promo giveaways. Anyway I rang a company about the pen offer they sent me. Pens are good. People always want pens. I have a plethora – don’t you love that word – in my handbag. So I got this bloke on the other end of the phone line. He had an American accent. Hmmm, the website indicated it was a 100% Aussie company. I was confused who I was dealing with so I sussed him out.

Bloke – Yes ma’am, it’s an Australian company
***I have to tell you straight away Aussies rarely ‘ma’am’ you and only an Aussie can say Oz-trail-yun properly.
Amarinda - Where are you?
B- In the US
A – And this is Aussie company?
B – Yes ma’am
A - Uh–huh…okay, so if I go with this pen offer can you ship my order within the US to a convention?
B- No ma’am
A - Why not?
B - The pens are made in Ireland
A – For an Aussie company?
B - Yes ma’am
A - I see (I didn’t) Can they ship them to the US from Ireland?
B - No - because they ship them via Belgium then Asia then to you.
A – I’m no geographical expert but wouldn’t it be simpler to go straight to the US from the UK?
B - It's not the policy of this company
A - That's an Aussie company right?
B – Yes ma’am
A - With US employees?
B - That's right.
A - Does this Aussie company have a base actually in Australia?
B – No ma’am
A - But you're a 100% Australian company?
B - Yes ma’am

Ma’am my arse. What a load of bullshit. The thing is I couldn’t give a rat's bottom what nationality anyone is but why would a US company working through Ireland with a stopover in Belgium try to convince me - an Aussie -that they were 100 % Australian? They’re about as Australian as I am a natural blonde. So what do they get out of this because I’m pretty damn sure a lot of Aussies would have the same reaction. I’m very loyal to my country. I will try and buy Australian made to support Aussie workers and industry. I’m sure you all do the same with your own countries. And, as we would say in Australia – ‘don’t pee on my head and tell me it’s raining’ – you can’t be something you’re not. Australian? I don’t bloody think so sunshine. Lordy what a dodgy, drongo company. And yes, I ended up buying from an Aussie company with an Aussie shelia on the line who said ‘yeah, no worries mate.’ Now that gives me confidence in who I am paying for what.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Oh the grind...

…I was at the gym, being tortured er, I mean trained…as far as anyone can train me or teach me stuff ‘cause I believe I know everything…by my PT Hugh. Anyway, I was running and jumping and lifting and close to dying, sweat obscuring my eyes when Hugh said “oh yuck, that’s just so unattractive.” ‘Well hey – I’m trying,’ I yelled back him. Actually, we yell at each other a lot. It’s a great deal of fun to have someone who understands your training style. “No, not you – her.” I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and looked at where he was pointing. There was a blonde, singer bimbo-ette on the television screen. Each exercise machine has its own….er, TV… not blonde bimbo-ette. I’m not big on watching music videos and ones at the gym make me believe having tweeny weeny shorts up your arse like that could be a health hazard…and that’s just the men in the videos…

Anyway, the lovely Hugh pointed out this well-known blonde American singer. She was in these tiny shorts with her arse hanging out and her boobs threatening to explode from her spangly bra all the while she was grinding away like some feral Barbie doll on heat in a boxing ring. Now I box at the gym and I’m pretty sure I never look like that. I cover my arse, figuratively and literally and sports bras are golden…and I rarely grind…only on special occasions. Anyway, I found it interesting that Hugh was turned off by this bimbo-ette. I say bimbo-ette because she was only in her twenties and to be a fully fledged bimbo I tend to believe you have to marry a man three times your age and/or be naked in a playboy spread.

I asked Hugh, twenty years younger than me, why this half naked, gyrating woman was ‘unattractive’. “There’s no mystery. What you see is what you get.” Hmmm, I countered this with “Maybe she’s just selling what she thinks people want.” Hugh didn’t agree with this. He said he wouldn’t buy it and that while a man would look at her she wasn’t the woman he ‘stayed with.’ Well, that set me back on my heels. Yes, I know all men are not shallow but it surprised by that a younger man, into health and fitness and ‘trimming and toning’ – his catchphrase along with ‘breathe’ and ‘push’ would think this way. That’s wrong of me. I don’t judge people by the way they look so why would I assume he – men would? Bad Amarinda. Life lessons abound…
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

This is what I’m thinking…

…if you drop earrings down the sink in the bathroom consider backing away from the sink and just consider those earrings gone…

Okay – so of late, due to the morning rush to get to the gym then to work, I have been putting earrings on in the bathroom. No, it’s not because I want to look at myself early in the morning because that’s just wrong, ghastly and pukeable. It’s more that I need to see something in my line of sight to remind myself to do it. I have double piercings in my ears…I am sort of considering triple…anyway I wear the top earrings to the gym – they’re usually small – then I change at the gym to become worker schlep and I put the dangling bottom earrings in. The danglier (possibly a made up word) the better…yes, yes, I could just do both sets at the gym and if I was normal I would. But I’m not hence the reason earrings fall down the sink and why I decided today to unscrew the thingamajig under the sink to pull the pipe apart and find said earrings.

First up – don’t ever do this if you have no patience. It’s easy getting it undone but it’s a bugger to put back together. Yes, I did find some trapped earrings – okay – maybe I’ve dropped a few of them down there - but putting the mechano-set-like-thing back together? Oh hard – messy - time consuming and it requires a lot of swearing and cleaning up…and frankly this is another reason why men are useful. They’re good at things like this. Men are problem solvers – they think - ‘Uh oh – she buggered the pipe thingy up, I’m going in to fix it.’ But damn it, I had no problem solver in the house.

So what did I do? I went and sat on the back steps and ate a small snack tin of tuna, hoping that the pipe would be back together by the time I finished. I willed it to be. I sent positive vibes into the universe hoping they would come back to me in the form of the pipe-thingy-put-togetherness. When I went into the bathroom – it was still in pieces. Damn universe. So, after an hour of swearing I finally got it back together. No, I have no idea why it took so long…it just did okay? Of course after I got it together I felt pretty smug with myself. Next time I may even turn the water off to the house before I do plumbing stuff like this…well, I can’t be expected to remember everything. That’s why I leave the earrings in the bathroom.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Monday, 8 June 2009


I packed for my trip to Cairns today. Wherefore art thou Cairns? See map – it’s at the pointy end of Australia – two and a bit hours from Brizzie - past the Tropic of Capricorn and hang a left at the Great Barrier Reef. I plan to be snorkeling there soon scaring the fish. I am ignoring everyone who tells me I will get eaten by sharks and attacked by stingers…oh please…like they would be stupid enough to take me on. Bite me and I’ll bite back. So, I’m packed and pretty damned excited to be heading to Cairns…and you know what? As I packed I discovered I have a lot of purple and black clothes. Yep, I’m your basic half arsed suburban Goth.

I was watching this clip of Ellen DeGeneres and her Tulane speech on You Tube. Ellen always makes me laugh. I also admire her greatly -
click here – but then I admire anyone who keeps forging ahead regardless what obstacles may be in their way. Never let anyone say you can’t do something or be who you are. ‘Hoping you are the same…
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Sunday, 7 June 2009

It’s the Queen’s birthday…

…weekend in Australia. What does that mean to Australians? A day off to play sport, go camping, travelling, relaxing etc. I am sure someone gives a rat’s arse about a privileged, English monarch who has done stuff all* for any Australian but they would be hard to find. And actually her real birthday is in April but fair suck of the sav# we have a lot of public holidays around April so it suits us better to have a day off in June.

As my Scottish grandfather Bill said, “When she sings god save Bill then I’ll sing god save the queen.” Well, that’s fair isn’t it? And to my knowledge she never sang that song. When all is said and done she’s no different to any other human being now is she? But hey – I am happy to take the day off…

* stuff all - nothing
#fair suck of the sav – come on be fair – and a sav is a saveloy or you probably know it better as a hot dog. Yes, it is a strange saying but we like it.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 6 June 2009

The important things in life….

…I was trying on this pair pants at Target yesterday…they were too big – yay me…anyway, while I was mentally high fiving myself, I looked at my thighs in the mirror. Holy snapping ducks! Oh the horror! Is it legal to have that much cellulite? And that arse? Is that mine or did someone follow me into the changing room – the room with the ghastly bright lighting that should be outlawed? And why are all the mirrors so realistic? Why can’t changing rooms have mirrors with the funhouse obscure effect? You know – blurry, thinning, maybe not there…

But – in reality none of that’s important is it? Fat thighs and a fat arse do not mean a great deal in the scheme of thing…other than you always have something comfortable to sit on. What are the important things? Well there’s lots of stuff… chocolate can be very important…but at the moment I’m concentrating on people….ooh chocolate people would be excellent wouldn’t they? All that licking and biting…though some people don’t have to be made of chocolate for that…hmmmanyway…back to the topic… people – you know I realized once more how lucky I am this week. I have people who unconditionally understand me and will slap me around the head if I lose the plot and panic. That’s important. You need people who will shake their head and tell you to get a grip, who will lie for you or who will make you feel good with just a simple phone call or email. Speaking of emails…I cannot begin to express my appreciation at all the readers who have read my free book – Who Knew – and emailed or messaged me to tell me how much they enjoyed it and other books. You have made my week and I cannot thank you enough. I am quite gobsmacked by the response.

Thank you


Friday, 5 June 2009

The art of avoidance…

In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back -- Charlie Brown

I was dawdling back from doing the business banking today thinking about stuff. As I did I found myself concentrating on not standing on the cracks in the sidewalk. I did very well. I was so engrossed in it I nearly walked straight past the office. Why was I doing it? I think it was easier trying to concentrate on dumb stuff that doesn’t matter than hauling arse back to work and deal with other stuff…oh god no, not work stuff…life stuff.

Is it just me or do we go out of our way to complicate life? Why do we do it? Maybe it's to do with past history, past hurts. Maybe it's about being scared to let go and take a leap of faith. Maybe it's about knowing some things are so important that you don't want to screw them up so avoiding them is safer. Maybe it's about being used to relying on yourself and that to rely on someone else requires a surrender that makes you nervous. Maybe I'm just a wimp. Whatever it is I swear I will stop trying to skip to the last page of the book to suss out the ending nor will I try and control everything. I will just let things happen. It’s doable…I guess….I'll work on it.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Very spesh…

I was driving to the gym this morning and I heard this advert come on the radio for a company who specializes in DNA testing for 'those special moments'. The voice over man made it sound very seductive so I listened in wondering if this was a better gift to give someone rather then me asking what someone wanted for their birthday. I like to be practical with gift buying – tell me and I’ll buy it…anyway…special moments...what are they? Well, apparently 'special' is for things like checking what your lover has been up to - specifically who they have been having sex with. Nice or with an Aussie accent - noice.

So first up there is paternity testing. Yes, that's pretty spesh (special) isn’t it? Finding out you are not the biological father of a child. You know, I think people can pretty much do what they want. That's personal choice. But I reckon if you have a lover and you are in another relationship at the same time then for god sake use a condom if there is any possibility of pregnancy happening. I really don’t get why women do not insist upon this. Multiple lovers? Fine – whatever. Unknown paternity? Tacky. It's just wrong for the child that results from these unions.

Next - disease - yes - you can apparently swab your lover/significant other and have them tested for various diseases. Now, I'm not sure how you go about doing a cheek swab without them wondering why you are asking them to open their mouth while you insert a swab. How does one explain that? Do you tell them 'I think you are harbouring boy germs' or maybe that you are thinking of becoming a Forensic scientist and you need practice?

Next up - special can also include having your DNA tested for 'curiosity.' Uh huh. Now, I don’t know about you but I have so many other things to do in life that I'm pretty good to leave my DNA untested. What's to be curious about? You’re alive – what more is there to know?

I also have to ask - if you are worried about paternity or disease or whatever - wouldn’t it be better to haul arse to the Doctor and talk to them and get the tests done? Why pay through the nose for a 'special moment' that may just screw with your life when you get the results back? Why be broke and also miserable? Yes, I know it's a sign of the times and people make mistakes but there ain’t nothing spesh in any of this.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


So someone I know, let’s call her Polly, did something really dumb dumb it had us both laughing. We were emailing each other back and forth at work because we could. Isn’t that why we have work email? To communicate with other workers? Anyway Polly is in a lousy situation at work. They sacked her then reinstated her on less hours. It's a real mongrel move. She has no idea where she stands any more. Anyway, she had been putting up with a lot of crap from her bosses. I am happy to let her vent via email or on the phone. I believe sometimes you just need to pour out every frustration and who better than a friend to do it with. The only problem with this is when you are emailing all your angst, complete with swear words and where certain people can stick things in what orifices, that maybe you should check whose email address you are sending it to. She meant to send this very graphic email to me. Yep – you guessed it - she sent it to her boss…the one she was pissed at…oh dear…

I received a frantic phone call at work from her. As I listened to what she did I had the urge to burst out laughing as it was so crazy and I could only imagine what her boss would have made of it. Polly asked "What do I do?" Well exactly – what do you do when you’ve told your boss he’s a complete waste of space and tosser? So I laughed then. So did she. Well, you’re really screwed aren’t you when you do something like this. The boss has it - you sent it - no doubt he has read it and he is now wondering if you are mad or just sexually inventive as to where he can shove his stapler. There's only one option I can see in a circumstance like this – admit to it - burst into tears and play the frustration/hysteria card. The good thing is her boss is male. Men hate tears. It's a very powerful weapon for a woman to have. She rang me after she left work for the day. No word back from her boss. I said ‘cheer up – he probably just assumes you’re insane and maybe he’s not going to make any false moves in case you go postal.’ See? Insanity at work can be an excellent excuse if tears don’t work.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


Who Knew – now available at Ellora’s Cave. It’s a free Amarinda book – just click on the cover and download the story. What’s it about? Sex, romance, men who get in your face and make you crazy…usual stuff…

Shoulder pads…

…I thought they went out of fashion with Alexis Carrington in Dynasty. I never really understood why a woman wants to look like a line backer. Yes, I am lucky I do have good shoulders. Actually, they’re probably the only part of me sans cellulite. There you go – a bright spot. Anyway I bought this shirt – purple – matches my eyes - and it had shoulder pads. Seriously? It’s 2009? I ripped those suckers right out. Haven’t we graduated from looking butch? Can’t we have sloping, thin, sagging or girly shoulders? And who looks at someone’s shoulders anyway? Okay – I will admit I’m quite keen on a man’s shoulders but it’s more the structure, shape and touchability (could be a made up word) factor. Men don’t generally wear shoulder pads. I say ‘generally’ because one of my many, many jobs – 29 in all - was working as a trainee manager, after I left high school, in a large department store. We got rotated through all the departments including menswear and I learned a lot about what men wear and the secrets they hide.

I could tell you some stories about men and clothes and what they want measured. Did I measure anyone? Sure waist, chest and neck – anything else I called a male colleague. Why? Because only a dipstick male seeking some perverted thrill would ask an 18 year old female sales assistant to measure his inside leg and I do not drop to my knees for anyone. Besides, I kind of liked watching B, one of the sweetest, gayest men, jumping in to help me in situations like this. He would act extra ‘gay’ at times like this to make me laugh and make the man he was measuring very, very nervous.

Anyway – what men disguise – shoulders – a lot of suits got sent away for extra special padding to accentuate the shoulders. Feet – no man will admit to small feet and the majority, I found, bought shoes larger that they should be. And no, I don’t think there is any correlation between foot size and penis size. All women know that but clearly some men believe it. Underwear…oh lordy – you do not want to know what some men buy. I think we’ve all come across men who use padding to…well, I’m not sure why they shove padding down the front of their jocks. It’s not like a woman can’t tell…so why would a man bother? But, as a then fresh faced 18 year old, I was agog when B told me. Now at 45 it takes a lot to agog me. Actually best friend Ethel and I were only talking about a man we used to work with at Promptel (code word for crapacious phone company) who used to pad the front of his tight, tight trousers. It fascinated all the women as the padding would constantly shift through the day until it was sliding down his leg. You have to wonder why you would bother, though it did keep us all amused.

Padding? Be yourself. Our original design although flawed is what we were meant to be and quirky is sexy.
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Monday, 1 June 2009

Who knows why...

Who Knew– is released June 1st at Ellora’s Cave. Its part of their free reads range. It costs you nix. In this economy anything free is excellent. So if you want to read an Amarinda freebie it’s as simple of clicking on the cover and downloading the story. What’s it about? Oh, just life when you least expect it…

Who Knew - The blurb…

The last thing on Bridie Clare’s mind was sex when she banged off a furious e-mail to head office. James Harper was stunned then amused after reading her angry words. Who was this woman? But soon a heated verbal exchange becomes something more. Anger becomes lust—then desperate longing to meet and touch a lover.

Why do…

…men giggle in the shower room? No, I have not been in the men’s shower room in the gym, but often as I am showering, in the ladies locker room before work, I hear men giggle on the other side of the wall. It fascinates me. What are they giggling at? I can tell you women don’t do that. In fact I have worked out there are three types of women who inhabit a gym…

1. The half dead, red faced-oh-my-god-I-think-I’m-dying covered in sweat women who crawl into the locker room, collapse on the bench and gasp for air as they try and find energy to strip off their sticky clothes and have a shower. I’m one of these feral types. We run ourselves ragged around the gym, sweat everywhere in unfashionable clothing, try to avoid knee lifts – because damn it they’re hard to do – and puff and pant in the pursuit of…well, I’m not sure but I think it’s probably pain.
2. The impossibly beautifully people who look perfect in their Armani-Gucci-someone-or-other-tracky daks (track pants) and they never sweat, they’re good at all the exercises and they never try to avoid things like the knee lifts. They’re also the ones who watch themselves in the mirror not to assess how red in the face they are and if they are close to dying. It’s more to see how impossibly beautiful they look. They’re also the sort who glide into the locker room, strip off and have absolutely no flaws whatsoever and any woman worth her salt in the locker room trades glances with others and mouths the word ‘bitch.’
3. The androids. These are people you’re not sure what sex they are. They all look the same – broad shouldered, spiky hair cuts, muscled calves and they look like they could easily beat the crap out of you and still do knee lifts. Some of these ones fascinate me as I never sure if they are male or female and when they walk into the locker room you think ‘okay – female – who knew?’ Or wait – am I in the right locker room?

I am yet to hear a woman giggle in the locker room. What is it that men do in there that makes them giggle?
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?