Ahhh! It's so hot - 30 degrees inside the house - it is hard enough to manipulate the wash (water) over the ink tense pencils - which are so fabulous, but that's another story. The wash is drying quickly and it's tricky getting a smooth look. Not to mention the heat from the lamp! Phew!But I've soldiered on and this is the 3rd illustration for Christmas Calamity.
Available now on Amazon Kindle is my latest book, A Christmas Calamity. In only a matter of one or two minutes you can have this book sent wirelessly to your phone or tablet - it's that easy!
This is one of my favourite books because it captures the essence of Christmas. It evokes peace, love for each other and kindness to all creatures and it does this without being too emotional.
Instead, the story takes us on a wild and zany journey as Santa ends up in a wheelchair, Rudolf is left battered and bruised, Santa's sleigh is stolen not once but twice and three little ducklings and a young dog named Laddie steal your heart.
If you get a chance please download a copy today. I have set the price as low as possible so most people can afford it. Proceeds from the sale of this title, like all the other in the Astro's Adventures series, go to my local animal shelter.
To view your copy, please click this link - Enjoy!
All great artists have their muse - their inspiration, their drive, their passion but when these things wane and I find myself washing windows and scrapping the gunk out of the sink I know that my accountability partner is waiting to get me back on track - tapping her foot; drumming her fingers on the desk - anything to get me working again.
In this episode you'll meet Georgina Barrot, accountability partner and owner of the star of my books, Astro. You'll find out what drives her to drive me and how much fun it is to nag someone relentlessly so that they achieve their goals.
Pay with a Tweet is the first social payment system, where people pay with the value of their social network. It’s simple, every time somebody pays with a tweet, he or she tells all their friends about the product. Boom! Help me spread the word about my books and I'll give you a free copy of my next book!
A Christmas Calamity!
Who wouldn't want a robot that looked exactly like they did? How much fun would it be to go on adventures saving dogs with your robot double? Can we really blame Astro for ruining Christmas then?
Well, yes, actually. Astro thinks that his robot double can be reprogrammed to be good. He is sadly mistaken. After his robot double injures Santa and the reindeer it is up to our brave heroes to save Christmas. Let's face it, driving a sleigh and giving out presents can't be that hard surely? But what happens when the sleigh is stolen right from under their very noses? Who is swapping presents around and burning Christmas angels? Who would dare to write rude things about Santa using Christmas lights?
And who will eventually save us all from this terrible Christmas Calamity?
In this story from the Astro's Adventures series you'll meet a young enthusiastic Border collie named Laddie, three very cheeky ducklings and you will learn about some Santa's secret powers. Joining the fun is our team of heroes, Commander Rocky, Stella D'oro, Alfie, Digger, Indy, Hans, Dingo and of course, Astro - the kind hearted reluctant hero of the day! Not to mention, guest appearances from Santa Claus himself!
Just hit the 'Freebies' link above or click here!
In today's show you'll meet two children who have decided to collect 10,000 books for disadvantaged children in Fiji.
On a trip to Fiji a Melbourne family visited a school. Jake (5) and Amy Stewart (8) had brought a large bag of pencils and other small gifts. They gave their gifts to the 400 students. It was humbling for them to witness how happy and grateful the children where to receive these small items. The school was completely flooded in March 2012,. But what struck Jake and Amy was the empty library. So they decided to do something to support these kids and the Bula Books initiative was developed. Our aim is to collect and donate 10,000 kids books to the school.
I have always wanted to be a writer and a story teller. There's something magical in the power of sharing a story with someone whether that's verbally or in writing. I have always enjoyed any aspect of my work that involved writing. This includes writing media releases for a politician or reports for children when I was a teacher.
The reason I chose to write about animals and dogs in particular was because I wanted to celebrate the unique relationship we share with these animals.
In my latest book, A Christmas Calamity, I wrote a starring role for a Border collie I love named Laddie. He is a young, enthusiastic dog who doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body. He is fun loving and never tires of chasing the ball. His favourite thing is to try and lie down in his drinking bowl even if the weather is not that hot.
These are the things I took into consideration when I was creating his character. In the story he has to help save Christmas but he is also given the special role of saving three ducklings. This sub plot allowed me to describe how gentle and considerate the real Laddie is. In the story, the ducklings are alone and frightened when Laddie finds them. When he decides to save them they come out of their shell and a special relationship develops between them.
In truth, Laddie is just like any other young active dog. You probably know a dog just like him. Perhaps the dog isn't well trained and can't perform fantastic tricks. Maybe the dog is just like Laddie- an ordinary house pet with no exceptional talents. But still, like all dogs, Laddie is special because he's part of a family and he brings happiness in the way he enjoys the simple things in life - tennis balls, water and his family. What more could a dog want?
I just purchased this t-shirt from a local cartoonist who I admire and want to support. With shipping it cost under $30.
That's not a fortune to tell someone that you admire and support their work. It's extremely difficult for independent authors, artists and musicians to get their work recognised - just ask me!
Now's the time we need to support our local artists and authors so that they can continue to be creative and share their talents. Go ahead... share the love ;) http://teespring.com/candles
You can find Gav's work here: http://zenpencils.com/
It’s been three and a half hours since the internet went down - or at least since I noticed.
Although only a relatively short time it is becoming apparent that this enforced separation from the online world is beginning to take its toll.
I feel lost and very much alone. I have no reception on my phone or my computer.
Sure, I can still open Facebook and slip through the posts from yesterday. I can reminisce about the cartoons that made me laugh – oh, my dog does that! And the news stories that made me cry – how many died in a bus crash?
But is this enough?
I sigh deeply and I’m only left to dream about what might be happening right now, this very second. And what marvels are entertaining others as I sit here jailed from the world; shut down, lost and confused.
Several attempts to text family members to notify them of my tenuous hold on life have failed. Well, not all of them ... but most! I sent a short SOS to those who matter most and I received only one reply before everything shut down again.
It is as if the internet is taunting me; slipping only some messages through and not others. I have no control over this process which is playing games with my mind.
But wait ... the little tune has alerted me of an incoming message. Is it a lifeline thrown to a drowning woman or a glint of sunshine in a dark stormy sky? Maybe a message of hope when all seems lost?
It was from the ATO reminding me I had to get my tax submitted online before the end of the month or risk a fine. How incredulous is that? If I were a believer in conspiracy stories I’d probably go stark raving mad right about now. But I’m not. I am a believer in coincidence over corruption and incompetence over conspiracies. It is best to smile and chuckle at the irony and then just put the kettle on.
I was born before the internet and I have found my mind wandering back to a time when the only connection I had with the outside world was a landline - or as we called it in those long forgotten days – a telephone.
What happy days they were! A time when memes didn’t shape my thoughts or fuel my confidence. In those times I didn’t know what Boy George thought of the refugee crisis. I didn’t understand that any, no every, question that might wander into my mind could and should be answered immediately by Google. Were they not the days of quiet innocence? But as my isolation grows and my fear ferments a darkness grows in my mind and I see those times now as just dumb ignorance.
How dare the door-to-door- salesman convince me to part with nearly $2000 for a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s! What an arse he was! They were out-dated and superseded in less than five years by a small plastic disc with an attractive hologram finish. Idiot of a man!
Still, I digress...
I am managing to keep my spirits up by cleaning. I know! Who would have thought that mundane tasks such as dusting and vacuuming could lift one’s mood? But they have!
I may venture out in the car and visit the shops. Who knows what carnage and wreckage I might find because there is no internet service. The very thought makes me feel ill but what can I do? There’s no milk and I must continue to administer that brown fluid to keep my spirits up, if for no other reason.
I hope I might come across a lonely and lost soul as myself and we might find solace in our disconnection from the online world together. It is a gamble but I must try something. Hope drives me onward!
If I am never heard of again I hope that this short and brief account of the day the internet died may explain in some way the tragedy of the situation and others may benefit therefrom.
October 17, 2013 10.34 am
Here are the finalists for Astro's Adventures Colouring Competition 2013. Astro needs your help to pick a winner though! Please go to this link on Facebook and click like under the picture that you think deserves to win. The winners will win a copy of Major Dakota's Ghost or the Gypsy Curse. Please help encourage these young artists by voting for your favourite.
This lady is amazing. She has some great innovative ideas to share with all writers and aspiring authors. Listen to the show and find out about Australian Writers Rock and her publishing site Finite Publishing.